Saturday, July 13, 2024

Initial Testing Underway for World’s First Zero-Emissions Autonomous Mining Trucks

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Liebherr and Fortescue Metals Group are advancing towards the deployment of the world’s first zero-emissions autonomous hauling solutions (AHS) for mining, marking a significant milestone in their collaborative efforts.

The Swiss-German construction machine manufacturer and Australian mining specialist began their partnership in June 2022, focusing on developing sustainable technologies for mining operations.

Since last year, the partners have been conducting trials of Liebherr’s T264 trucks, powered by full battery electric and hydrogen variants, at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek mining site in Pilbara, Western Australia. These 291-ton trucks emit only water vapor during operation, aligning with Fortescue’s commitment to eliminate diesel use at its mines by 2030.

The development includes testing a new AHS featuring an onboard autonomy kit, a Fleet Management System (FMS), and a high-precision machine guidance system. The FMS aims to optimize fleet utilization, enhance productivity, and ensure efficient energy consumption across autonomous vehicles, road trains, and other heavy mining equipment.

Fortescue, a pioneer in autonomous haulage since converting its fleet in 2020, views this collaboration as pivotal in advancing their capabilities. CEO Dino Otranto emphasized the strategic significance: “Our expertise in autonomous haulage, derived from operating over 200 diesel autonomous haul trucks, has enabled us to develop a Fleet Management System that maximizes efficiency and unlocks capacity within our fleet.”

Liebherr’s Executive Vice President Oliver Weiss highlighted the broader industry impact of their joint efforts: “Our collaboration with Fortescue is not only beneficial for their operations but sets a precedent for the mining sector, showcasing the versatility and efficiency of Liebherr technology.”

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