Anglo American has signed a multi-year agreement with design, engineering, and system development firm First Mode that could see the Seattle-based company develop new systems and technology for the diversified miner.
First Mode, well known for its work adapting the tools and technologies developed for the robotic exploration of the solar system, will be supporting projects across Anglo American’s FutureSmart Mining™ program as part of the $13.5 million contract, it said. FutureSmart Mining is an innovation-led approach to address mining’s major sustainability challenges.
This work will include technology trade-off studies, engineering design, prototypical developments, technology demonstrations, delivery of integrated systems, and deployment to sites around the world, First Mode said.
This collaboration builds on successful projects across Anglo American’s portfolio during 2019, where First Mode is supporting Anglo American on the systems engineering, integration, and test program for its hydrogen-powered mine haul truck with ‘first motion’ planned in 2020, it said.
Tony O’Neill, Technical Director of Anglo American, said the miner looked forward to developing and implementing innovative technologies over the coming years in tandem with First Mode.
“This work supports our trajectory towards our carbon and energy targets for 2030 and, ultimately, our vision of carbon-neutral mining,” he said.
Chris Voorhees, President and Chief Engineer of First Mode, said: “Mining produces the resources needed for a cleaner, more sustainable planet. Development of the world’s largest hydrogen-powered mine truck is an important step in making the natural resources sector carbon-neutral from start-to-finish.”
Rhae Adams, VP of Business Development at First Mode, meanwhile, said Anglo was the “perfect partner” to help fulfil the company’s vision of a future based on renewable energy.
Back in October, First Mode confirmed it had been selected by NASA to develop a pioneering lunar mission concept with Arizona State University (ASU), to be funded through NASA’s Planetary Mission Concept Study program. The mission, called Intrepid, would develop and deploy the Intrepid rover to traverse the furthest distance of any rover in NASA’s history, examining the geology of the lunar surface over an area of some 1,800 km.