Mineral Resources says it will be the first miner in Western Australia to take delivery of Australia-engineered battery-electric Toyota HiLux utility vehicles for its mine site operations.
The investment, it says, is a demonstration of MinRes’ commitment to decarbonise its mining operations in Western Australia, which includes two of the world’s largest hard-rock lithium mines.
MinRes placed the order with mining industry vehicle supplier and global systems integrator MEVCO, which recently announced a partnership with SEA Electric to electrify Toyota HiLux and LandCruiser utes.
From its factory in Melbourne, SEA Electric is converting the vehicles from diesel-powered engines to all-electric using its SEA-Drive power-system.
The HiLux utility vehicles purchased by MinRes will be fitted with an 88 kWh battery that provides a range of up to 380 km and can be charged up to 80% in less than one hour, according to the company. The mine site-ready electric vehicles also produce no noise, fumes, heat or vibrations.
A demonstration model arrived in Perth, Western Australia, this week and MinRes is expected to take delivery of the first batch of electric vehicles in April.
MinRes, which is committed to net zero emissions by 2050, will use the electric utility vehicles at its various mine operations across Western Australia, including at the Koolyanobbing iron ore mine in the Yilgarn.
The addition of the electric utility vehicles comes two years after MinRes took delivery of the first all-electric light truck to roll off the SEA Electric production line.
MinRes is cutting emissions at its mining operations through a variety of technologies, including plans to transition road trains at its Onslow Iron project from diesel to electric.
At the Wonmunna iron ore project in the Pilbara, a 2.1 MW solar array and battery system is also being installed that will provide 30% of the site’s energy requirements.
MinRes Chief Executive Officer, Mining Services, Mike Grey, said: “MinRes has a plan to transition to a low-carbon future and cutting our reliance on diesel is central to achieving this goal. Our MEVCO electric utes are just one of the many ways we’re driving towards net zero and an exciting step in our decarbonisation journey.
MEVCO Chief Executive Officer, Matt Cahir, added: “While many companies talk about decarbonisation, MinRes is actually doing it. Partnering with one of the leading innovators in the mining industry is testimony to the MEVCO HiLux ute.
“MinRes is a company that is at the forefront of innovation and understands how that culture attracts and keeps the best mining talent in the industry. We are excited to be part of MinRes’ decarbonisation journey.”