Zero-emission equipment is now firmly on the radar for the industry thanks to a brand-new alliance by Komatsu, Rio Tinto, BHP, Codelco and Boliden to fast-track the effort.

Komatsu development truckThe founding members of the Komatsu Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Alliance will work collaboratively with the OEM to plan, develop, test and deploy the next generation of zero-emission mining equipment and infrastructure. 

The first goal will be to push ahead Komatsu’s power-agnostic truck design for a haulage vehicle that can operate on various sources such as diesel electric, trolly (wired), battery power and hydrogen fuel cells.

The alliance’s creation allows the mining leaders to work in tandem and share time and resources for the crucial development of zero-emissions solutions. Komatsu noted that it intends to expand the alliance to additional mining companies as well.

Masayuki Moriyama, president of Komatsu’s Mining Business Division, said the company is looking forward to the collaboration that will advance substantiable solutions and the fast-tracked deployment of the machines that will help mining achieve the ultimate zero-emission goal.

“As a company, Komatsu is committed to minimising environmental impact through its business, targeting a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from use of its products and production of its equipment by 2030 (compared to 2010 levels) and a challenge target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Komatsu has worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for customers through innovative product development for decades in many areas including electric diesel dump trucks, electric power shovels, regenerative energy storage capabilities and fuel saver programs.”

Komatsu has confirmed that its initial concept for a haulage vehicle that can run on a variety of power sources, part of the power agnostic development, is set to make its official debut at MINExpo 2021 on 13 September in Las Vegas.

Rio Tinto, which also made a statement on 2 August, confirmed it will be conducting a pre-production trial of the new equipment at a Rio Tinto site. It will have the option, it added, to purchase some of the first trucks from Komatsu once they are commercially viable.

“Rio Tinto and Komatsu have a shared history of partnership on innovation going back to when we built the world’s largest Komatsu autonomous haulage fleet in 2008,” Alf Barrios, Rio Tinto’s chief commercial officer, said.

“Our support of a trial, and the option to buy some of the first trucks from Komatsu, underscores our shared commitment to actively collaborate on product planning, development, testing and deployment of the next generation of zero-emission mining equipment and infrastructure as we look to decarbonise our business.”

Sources: Komatsu and Rio Tinto

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