Tag Archives: Chen Jinghe

EACON banks more finance for automation mission as it nears 1,000 truck milestone

EACON says it has received another $44.5 million in Series C++ financing, led by Zijin Mining and Minxi Xinghang, enabling it to scale up its technology, product R&D and mining area operation management as part of its autonomous haulage developments.

Including series C and series C+ financing, EACON has now completed equity financing of $97.3 million within six months.

Founded in May 2018, EACON calls itself a leading autonomous haulage solution company that empowers the mining industry with the most advanced technology. By combining cutting-edge autonomous driving technology with strong on-site operational capabilities, EACON provides an OEM-agnostic, field-proven solution for autonomous haulage and zero-emission truck engineering, it says.

Currently, EACON has deployed autonomous truck fleets in four of China’s top 10 open-pit coal mines. As of February 2024, there are 304 trucks running autonomously with a total mileage of 6.5 million kilometers, ensuring safe operation for six consecutive years, it claims.

Zijin Mining, meanwhile, is a leading global multinational mining group mainly engaged in mining copper, gold, zinc, silver and lithium.

Chen Jinghe, Chairman of Zijin Mining Group, said the advancement of ‘carbon peak and carbon neutrality’ objectives have sparked significant transformation within the global mining sector, where autonomous driving technology, coupled with new energy trucks, are playing a pivotal role.

Zijin Mining will leverage its industry resources alongside EACON’s solution for its domestic and overseas mine sites, according to EACON.

Minxi Xinghang’s business scope spans mineral metallurgy, equity investment, site construction, new energy and materials, water conservancy and power, and transportation operations. Chairman, Li Jian, expressed aspirations to seize additional business prospects both domestically and internationally alongside EACON in the future.

EACON has been actively promoting the development of zero carbon mining. As of February 2024, EACON had deployed 245 battery-electric and hybrid-battery haulage trucks. In 2023, EACON developed a zero-emission, fully-autonomous haulage fleet for a sand and gravel aggregate mine in Fushan, Shandong. The fleet has reduced carbon emissions by over 2,200 t while operating safely and stably for the past 350 days, it says.

Zhang Lei, co-Founder and Chairman of EACON, stated that the successful completion of the $97.3 million financing reflects the positive recognition of EACON by the market and industry. Zijin has many mines located on plateaus, which are not only remote but also feature low oxygen levels due to the high altitude. This environment can cause discomfort for mining workers unaccustomed to it. EACON says it hopes to provide solutions for mining operations in these areas through autonomous driving technology in the future.

By the end of 2024, EACON expects the number of deployed autonomous trucks to reach 1,000. This fleet expansion is likely to come from EACON’s steadfast deployment of new energy autonomous driving vehicles, enabling mines to achieve sustainable low-carbon operations, as well as the retrofit of existing fleets, providing drive-by-wire control kits and solutions for autonomous driving systems. Currently, a drive-by-wire kit for a Komatsu HD785-7 truck is under design.

In 2024, EACON plans to launch a pilot project in Australia to expand its global market.