EV Mining Equipment

Mining companies are trialling EV mining equipment to reduce usage of over 14 billion liters of diesel a year. Scope 1 and 2 emissions from mining activities by Fortescue (FMG.AX), BHP, Rio Tinto and others need to be reduced. Companies are assessing hydrogen, electric and battery electric in heavy haul equipment.

Energy is one of the highest operating costs for Australian miners. A lot of power is needed to delivery ore from pit to port. Large haul trucks, heavy machinery, processing plants, conveyors and railways that span hundreds of miles.

Mining sector accounts for about 10% of Australia’s total energy use (500 petajoules per year). Diesel is the main contributor (41%) followed by natural gas (33%), and grid electricity (21%). Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Australia imports about 26 billion litres of diesel annually.

  • 6 billion litres or 30% used in mining
  • 25% in agriculture
  • 15% in transportation

Fortescue Plan and Progress

  • Plan is to replace its existing diesel-fuelled mining fleet with electrified and green hydrogen-powered vehicles before 2030.
  • First operational electric excavator in Australia
  • The excavator is operational at its Cloudbreak mine site in the Pilbara
  • The decarbonisation strategy is wide ranging
  • battery-electric haul truck and a hydrogen fuel cell haul truck are on trials at is nearby Christmas Creek iron ore mining operation.
  • The decarbonisation of their entire fleet saves around 95 million litres of diesel every year, or quarter of a million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
EV Mining Equipment burns billions of liters per year.
This Liebherr was converted from diesel to electric. The electric excavator has a 6.6 kV substation. A two kilometres of high-voltage trailing cable. This is the first of an initial three Liebherr R 9400 E electric excavators.

Update on Fortescue Mar 2024

  • The R 9400 E electric excavator from Leibherr was commissioned at the Cloudbreak mine site in December 2023
  • Powered by a 6.6kV substation
  • Connected by more than two kilometres of high voltage trailing cable
  • First of three from German-Swiss equipment manufacturer Liebherr
  • To be commissioned over the next twelve months.

In a little over 3 months, and running at only partial capacity as the site team got themselves used to the new piece of equipment, the electric excavator has now moved one million tonnes.

Range of EV Mining Equipment Required

AngloGold Ashanti

 A battery-electric underground mining truck deployed at its Sunrise Dam gold mine site near Laverton, about 1,000 kilometres south of Fortescue’s Cloudbreak operation.

The mining industry is taking its initial steps towards a greener future, with several companies around the world trialing zero-emission mining equipment. Here’s a list of some notable players making waves in this space:

1. BHP

The global mining giant is piloting battery-electric haul trucks at its Nickel West mine in Western Australia. These trucks, manufactured by Komatsu, produce zero emissions and contribute to a safer and quieter work environment.


3. Rio Tinto

This Anglo-Australian mining behemoth is exploring various zero-emission technologies, including battery-electric and trolley assist haul trucks, autonomous electric drills, and hydrogen fuel cell mining vehicles.


4. Glencore:

The Swiss multinational commodity trader and miner is trialling battery-powered underground mining equipment at its Sudbury operations in Canada. This initiative, in partnership with Sandvik, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality for miners. The mine is too deep for conventional gear and poor air quality. Electrification makes the mine economic.

The equipment includes in 23 vehicles comprising of scooptram loaders, minetruck haulers, boomer face drilling rigs, Boltec and Cabletec rock reinforcement rigs, and Simba production drilling rigs.


4. Anglo American

The British multinational mining company is testing hydrogen fuel cell haul trucks at its Mogalakwena platinum mine in South Africa. This project, partnered with Anglo American Platinum and First Quantum Minerals, seeks to demonstrate the viability of hydrogen-powered technology in deep-level underground mines.

Anglo American EV Mining Equipment

5. Caterpillar

The world’s leading manufacturer of heavy machinery is actively developing zero-emission mining equipment, including battery-electric loaders and haul trucks. Their recent acquisition of Pertrak, a leader in autonomous mining technology, further strengthens their commitment to sustainable mining solutions.

Caterpillar EV Mining Equipement

Hudson Bay Mining

Copper Mountain – Komatsu largest surface excator. https://www.canadianminingjournal.com/news/sms-delivers-worlds-largest-excavator-komatsu-pc800-to-copper-mountain/., They use electric trolley-assist haulage system trucks over the 1-km haul ramp have seven pantograph-equipped electric haul trucks.


Mining Use of Energy from ARENA https://arena.gov.au/assets/2017/11/renewable-energy-in-the-australian-mining-sector.pdf