QMEB ยป Proponents transition mines away from diesel to electric
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Proponents transition mines away from diesel to electric

Bluvein truck
Bluvein truck

Over a dozen mineral producers started replacing fossil fuels with more environmentally friendly alternatives.

BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Glencore and Oz Minerals are some of the many proponents who support transitioning away from diesel to electric haul trucks.

The employers recently held talks with BluVein, which is trialling electric rail-powered heavy vehicles at a southeast Queensland operation.

The technology is touted to resolve weight and space limitations through using a “hammer” to sense and link to a charging rail full of “high voltage” conductors.

The system is promised to let electric trucks travel greater distances and increase productivity through carrying up to 60 per cent fewer battery units and more ore in both surface and underground environments.

Supplier BluVein revealed rail charging options include either 1 megawatt (MW) for underground or 8MW in open pits.

“Technology allows us to shrink the amount of batteries required on mining trucks by half as we keep as much energy off board as possible. That means trucks can carry more rock,” CEO James Oliver said according to News Limited.

Other partners include South32, Evolution Mining, Newcrest Mining, Agnico Eagle Mines, Vale, Northern Star Resources, Sandvik, MacLean, Volvo and Scania.

“Diesel haulage is one of the single biggest emitters in mining, particularly in the open pit space. Cumulatively, it makes up 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions for the sector. So, if we can take all of the diesel burning off the haul trucks and make them electrified and powered by green electrons, we can have a big impact,” Oliver said according to the media outlet.

Site trials will be held at “tier one” employers sometime in the year 2025.

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