EACON Mining and MACA continue collaboration at The Electric Mine 2024

EACON Mining, a leading provider of autonomous haulage solutions, and MACA, a leader in mining services, are making waves at the highly anticipated The Electric Mine 2024 exhibition. The joint exhibition marks a significant milestone in their collaboration, showcasing pioneering advancements in electrification technologies and autonomous driving that are poised to reshape the future of mining. The shift toward smaller autonomous haul trucks signifies the partnerships commitment to leveraging technology to find solutions that are safe, cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and suitable for the variable conditions present in mining operations.

EACON and MACA are actively pursuing the development and importation of battery electric mining trucks and hybrid battery mining trucks into the Australian market. These trucks manufactured by different OEMs will be embedded with EACON new energy systems, drive by wire systems, autonomous capabilities and will conform to regional standards/regulations. This collaborative effort builds upon the foundation laid with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the end of 2023.

EACON Mining is driving the mining industry’s shift towards electrification with its expertise in battery electric power systems design, hybrid power system design and autonomous turn-key solution capabilities. Collaborating with OEMs, EACON’s driverless electric haul truck models have been introduced into a quarry operation since 2023. This initiative provides greener and more efficient mining operations. In this quarry, haulage predominantly involves loaded downhill travel, providing excellent opportunities for regeneration of the electric vehicles. By March 2024, the electric fleet has collectively reduced emissions by over 2,300 tons and travelled a haulage distance of more than 300,000 kilometres, underscoring the dedication to sustainability.

Battery electric Yutong trucks with EACON AHS running at Fushan quarry in China

In July 2023, EACON, in partnership with LGMG, unveiled a 90-ton autonomous hybrid battery mining truck. Featuring EACON’s pioneering energy control design, this model achieves fuel savings of up to 30% compared to traditional diesel-powered trucks. Plus, another industry leader, Tonly Heavy Industries, recently introduced a hybrid model featuring EACON’s hybrid power systems. Over 100 of these autonomous haul trucks are set to be deployed in EACON’s coal mine projects. EACON has built a fleet of over 300 autonomous trucks, with battery electric and hybrid powertrain accounting for over 90% of the fleet. These vehicles have collectively covered a distance exceeding 8.8 million kilometres. Drawing from a deep understanding of autonomy technology in mining, EACON says it has seamlessly integrated this into the design of the new energy haul trucks.

“We are excited to showcase our collaboration. With MACA, we are reshaping the future of mining by introducing innovative solutions that prioritise safety, efficiency, and sustainability,” said Elaine Jin, COO of EACON Mining Australia. “Currently, small-tonnage pure electric mining trucks offer mature solutions. EACON’s autonomous driving system will help alleviate the cost pressures associated with implementing small-tonnage solutions.”

MACA’s significant strides in electrification initiatives align with EACON’s commitment to decarbonisation and sustainability in mining. The collaborators say that their interoperable battery-electric vehicle solutions will significantly reduce emissions while maximising battery lifecycle, contributing to a greener and more sustainable future for the mining industry.

In collaboration with EACON Mining, MACA is also leveraging state-of-the-art technology to integrate autonomous driving systems into its fleet of haul trucks. This move aims to enhance productivity and reduce operational costs through more efficient fleet management and optimised vehicle movements. The introduction of autonomous driving capabilities is expected to create safer working environments by eliminating human error and reducing the risk of accidents.

David Greig, Thiess Group Executive – Australia West said: “Our collaboration with EACON underscores our vision to harness the power of people and technology to drive sustainable change. This reinforces MACA’s commitment to offering our clients OEM agnostic autonomy, essential for holistic electrification in mining. By blending the strengths of our people with innovative technologies, we are spearheading transformative change where mining operations are safer, greener, and more efficient.”

As EACON Mining and MACA have unveiled their latest innovations at Electric Mining 2024, they say their steadfast commitment lies in propelling sustainable change within the mining industry. Through collaborative efforts, the focus remains on raising safety standards, enhancing operational efficiency, and spearheading the transition towards a greener, more sustainable mining sector.