The list of patrons getting behind the Austmine-brokered Charge on Innovation Challenge continues to grow as copper mining majors Codelco and Freeport McMoRan, gold miner Gold Fields and leading coal miner Yancoal join founding patrons Rio Tinto, BHP and Vale along with recent patrons Roy Hill, Teck, Boliden, Thiess and Antofagasta Minerals. The Expression of Interest deadline for the challenge has also been extended to 31 July 2021 “to provide vendors with additional preparation time and to maximise the opportunity for new patrons to join.”
The challenge as has been extensively reviewed in IM is an offer for vendors (including traditional truck OEMs) to present interoperable solutions that can safely deliver electricity to large (220 t and above) battery-electric off-road haul trucks in a way that maintains or improves current productivity levels. Specifically, the group wants mechanisms capable of delivering in the order of 400 kWh of electricity to each truck within a haul cycle (ie load, travel, dump, return, queue). The delivered electricity is to charge a battery, and if applicable directly propel the truck.
Patrons need to control a truck fleet of more than 30 trucks, be a producer in the mining and metals industry, commit to be an active contributor to the Charge On Innovation Challenge, have demonstrated commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in your their operations in the short and medium term through the use of operational and technological innovation and acknowledge that the ‘patrons agreement’ governs the activities of the parties with respect to the challenge.
Currently, the Charge On Innovation Challenge will end in October 2021 following completion of the Charge On Collaboration Workshop(s). Austmine will facilitate the workshop(s) for the patrons to uncover the Charge On concepts that were viewed as desirable and that could serve the industry as standard charging interfaces. Prior to the workshop(s), patrons will have made their own evaluations of the vendor concepts based on their individual operating requirements and will be free to advocate as to what they believe would make a viable solution to the problem framed in the Challenge.
The workshop(s) will identify the solutions most appealing to the patrons, and mechanisms by which patrons can provide assistance to vendors to commercialise the selected concept(s). An example of a mechanism would be a subset of the mining companies providing development assistance to a Vendor. The execution of these mechanisms will occur after the Challenge.
In the above example, the consortium would work closely with (or include) the truck OEMs and the ‘Charge On Vendor’ to develop a commercially available interface that can be utilised by all parties. The group is also working to enable investors to actively participate post-challenge as a way of providing additional finance to accelerate commercialisation.