OEMs on Sustainability and Innovation
Power-agnostic trucks, remote control centers, and reusable batteries are enabling equipment providers to tackle decarbonization and improve productivity
“High-horsepower vehicles such as haul trucks represent the largest source of emissions in a mining operation, at approximately two thirds, so Komatsu has launched the GHG (Greenhouse Gas) alliance to accelerate the deployment of lower and ultimately zero emission mining trucks within the remainder of this decade. In this alliance we are working with several global mining customers, including Codelco, AMSA, BHP, Rio Tinto, Boliden and Kinross.
Komatsu has developed the idea of power-agnostic trucks that, from the original design, have the possibility of changing the power source as technology advances and new alternatives become available. For example, you can start with a truck that is diesel-powered, assisted by a Trolley system, and ultimately replace the diesel engine with an electric battery power source without changing the truck. Eventually, if a hydrogen fuel cell option makes sense for a particular application, it would be possible to then change the power source again. We understand that the lifespan of a truck is around 15 years, which is a long time when technologies evolve fast, and therefore it makes sense to have a flexible platform.”
Darko Louit Nevistic, CEO, Komatsu Cummins Chile
“As QB2 is a greenfield development, you can build the autonomous operation as the customer is building the mine. You have the benefit of being able to establish a culture from scratch and you can build a team which is centered around this new way of operating. We have an excellent relationship with Teck as they share many of Finning’s values, especially how we use technology to become more efficient and create more value. I have also had the opportunity to see how Teck operates remotely from Santiago, which was a fascinating experience. Greenfield developments also leave room to start removing barriers. In the case of autonomy, a big barrier is change management and getting people to understand that autonomous operations are more efficient, safer, and a lower cost to the mine than manned operations.
Every mining application is different and has its unique challenges and it is thus difficult to copy paste solutions. One of the most valuable things about the QB2 project is that we are demonstrating that we can successfully do autonomous mining in deep, hard rock copper mines at 4,000 m of altitude.”
Sebastián Guridi, Senior VP of Mining – South America, Finning
““Our approach to sustainability is to look at every aspect of the business with an eye towards circularity. This not just about reducing footprint, which is an important aspect where we look at alternative energy for our fleet, but how we can reuse the different blocks in a lifecycle. Battery technology is going to reduce our carbon footprint, then reusing those batteries for another application once the lifespan has been met in the mine increases the longevity of those batteries and reduces the amount we have to put into creating new batteries.
Secondarily, companies often talk about the ‘E in ESG’, but we are also really focused on our social responsibilities. I sincerely believe that the only successful way to move forward is through the engagement of our people, to stimulate innovation and do more with less. This also leads to the governance aspect, by taking fiscally responsible decisions that contribute to the communities around us. These focal points are really going to define how much greenfield investment will be available.”.
John Swift, Managing Director – Chile, Epiroc
“We are currently in an advanced stage for a Trolley application project, a technology that Liebherr has already implemented in two operations outside of Chile, exceeding 40 trucks in operation of 400-t, with promissory performance for both parties customers and Liebherr, and it that allows us to continue in our route towards decarbonization and zero emissions that we have as a target from the group.
Already for a couple of years, we managed to bring the largest hydraulic excavator of our line (R 9800 of 44 m3), which due to its advanced development has exceeded our expectations regarding the low fuel consumption. Once we have installed our first Trolley equipment, we want to test our operator assistance system in Chile. This innovation is available for truck models T 264, T 274 and T 284 and corresponds to advanced design on-board applications that facilitate equipment operation, making them more efficient through automatic functions, leveraging high-precision GPS and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technologies.”