MMG has taken delivery of its first Caterpillar R2900 XE diesel-electric loader at its Rosebery mine, in Tasmania, Australia, as part of its strategy to achieve the group’s net zero emission targets.
The operation initially put a prototype vehicle to the test at Rosebery over a two-month period as part of Caterpillar field-follow trials conducted by several members of the Electric Mine Consortium, a growing group of leading mining and service companies, all of whom are driven by the imperative to accelerate progress towards the fully electrified zero CO2 and zero particulates mine.
The results of this trial showed a significant reduction in emissions, 56% drop in fuel consumption and a 15% reduction in heat generation, MMG said.
Following this, Rosebery mine has made a significant investment in three “hybrid vehicles” , it says, with these vehicles being the 18.5-t-payload R2900 XE, which is built on the platform of Caterpillar’s most popular underground loader, the R2900G.
The R2900 XE features a switch reluctance electric drive system alongside a Cat C15 diesel engine, which offers up to 335 kW of power, with Caterpillar saying the machine comes with about 30% increased fuel efficiency compared with the R2900G, with its lower engine revolutions per minute resulting in reduced fuel burn, heat, noise, vibration and exhaust emissions.
MMG Rosebery General Manager, Steve Scott, said investment in initiatives that reduce emissions and have a positive impact on the environment and in turn the local community, are a priority.
“We have aspirations to continue to decarbonise our mining operations and this is a step forward in our efforts to achieve this,” he said. “This is a great result, as we strive to meet MMG’s vision of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
He added: “As we navigate higher operational costs and a community expectation to reduce our environmental impact, the vehicles also provide the added bonus of a cost saving.”
The loaders were purchased from a local Tasmanian dealership, as part of Rosebery mine’s commitment to provide direct investment in small to medium businesses across the state, it said.
MMG Rosebery says it will continue to look at new and innovative ways to meet its net zero emissions targets.
Orders for the R2900 XE have been growing in Australia, with Westgold Resources recently confirming it would purchase another six of the diesel-electric vehicles after initially taking on the first unit off the shelf, and Gold Fields committing to acquiring three R2900 XE’s to work at its underground mines in Western Australia.