All-electric haulage fleet under mining alliance

Wednesday, 24 November, 2021

A strategic alliance between Newmont and Caterpillar will see the rapid deployment of an all-electric, autonomous haulage fleet.

The alliance intends to deliver 26 battery electric autonomous vehicles in both underground and open pit operation by 2027.

These vehicles will form a large part of the fully connected, automated, zero-carbon-emitting, end-to-end mining system that the partnership aims to create. Newmont’s goal is to reach its 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets of more than 30%, becoming net zero carbon by 2050.

“A year ago, Newmont announced industry-leading emission reduction targets because we understand the human contribution to climate change. We followed with a commitment to invest $500 million over five years to identify pathways forward as we firmly believe that we must make bold, lasting commitments to achieve the necessary change for a bright, healthy future,” said Tom Palmer, President and CEO of Newmont Corporation.

“We furthered that commitment by announcing a new strategic alliance with Caterpillar to address climate change by fundamentally changing the mining industry through the rapid development and implementation of a comprehensive all-electric autonomous mining system to achieve zero emissions mining.”

Building pathways to decarbonisation is essential for the future of mining. Newmont’s surface and underground mining fleets are responsible for approximately 40% of the company’s carbon emissions. Building a new model for surface and underground mining is critical to delivering on Newmont’s emissions reduction targets.

Newmont will also support Caterpillar’s validation of evolving features and functionality within the MineStar suite to be deployed across Newmont’s surface and underground assets globally. This deployment facilitates centralised production and asset management.

“Caterpillar is committed to providing transformational advancements in safety, sustainability and technology,” said Jim Umpleby, Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc.

Under the agreement, Newmont plans to provide a preliminary investment of $100 million as the companies set initial automation and electrification goals for surface and underground mining infrastructures and haulage fleets at Newmont’s Cripple Creek and Victor (CC&V) mine in Colorado, USA, and Tanami mine in Northern Territory, Australia. The goals include:

Introduction of an automated haulage fleet of up to 16 vehicles at CC&V planned through 2023, with a transition to haulage fleet electrification and implementation of Caterpillar’s advanced electrification and infrastructure system with delivery of a test fleet in 2026. Actions include validating battery electric haulage technology in the years prior to full production of autonomous electric haulage equipment.

Caterpillar will develop its first battery electric zero-emissions underground truck to be deployed at Tanami by 2026. The deployment includes a fleet of up to 10 battery electric underground haul trucks, supported by Caterpillar’s advanced electrification and infrastructure system. This includes battery electric haulage technology for underground mining in 2024, the introduction of battery autonomous technology in 2025, with full deployment in 2026.

Together, Newmont and Caterpillar plan to validate equipment, infrastructure, technologies and processes to transform both surface and underground mining, focusing on safety, automation, decarbonisation, optimisation, data and asset management across Newmont’s global operations. Leveraging Newmont’s scale and operational capabilities, the alliance sets the stage for the rapid development and deployment of the technologies, ultimately improving safety, productivity and energy efficiency across the mining industry.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Phil

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