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Caterpillar showcases sustainable underground solutions to Newmont

Caterpillar Inc. has showcased its first battery-electric prototype underground mining truck, expanding its battery-electric and semi-autonomous technology portfolio for underground mining applications.

The display for Newmont and other industry leaders occurred at the company’s testing facility in Tasmania, Australia, following the unveiling of the 793-battery electric prototype surface mining truck in November 2022.

Caterpillar developed its first battery-electric prototype underground mining truck with customer input and support from Newmont Corporation. The companies are collaborating to achieve Newmont’s vision of a fully connected, automated, zero-carbon-emitting, end-to-end mining system.

Caterpillar constructed the prototype truck as part of its commitment to the energy transition. Caterpillar is investing in transforming the proving ground into a functional, sustainable “mine site of the future” by incorporating various renewable energy sources.

The goal is to experience firsthand the practicalities of operating an electrified mine site, mirroring the sustainable solutions mining companies will adopt at their operations and ensuring effective support for customers amid industry changes.

Newmont’s executive vice president, Rob Atkinson, said this milestone is a reflection of the partnership between our teams at Newmont and Caterpillar, showcasing the impact of strong collaboration in the mining industry.

“Achieving this milestone together, combining capabilities and shared values, is a testament to the strength of our strategic alliance,” he added.

This battery electric truck will complete Caterpillar’s first fully electric underground load and haul solution when paired with the commercially available R1700 XE battery electric loader.

Denise Johnson, Caterpillar’s Resource Industries group president, said this is a milestone for the entire Caterpillar team as we work closer than ever with Newmont to provide more sustainable choices for the underground mining industry.

Caterpillar also completed a demonstration of its growing autonomy and automation capabilities. This technology addresses some of the key safety challenges faced daily by our underground customers, like the risk of collision when moving heavy machinery through dark, cramped spaces.

Autonomous trucks can help enhance mine site safety by removing operators from potentially hazardous or remote sites. Additionally, these features can improve productivity by creating increased visibility for mine site coordinators, enabling more consistent operations for both staffed and autonomous machines.

“We are building on our foundation of industry-leading autonomous solutions for surface operations, along with our deep experience in underground technology, to provide significant improvement in both productivity and safety for underground mining customers,” added Johnson.

This demonstration is the latest example of Caterpillar’s progress in developing more sustainable offerings for the mining industry, both on the surface and underground.

 

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