Caterpillar has successfully demonstrated its first battery electric prototype underground mining truck, growing its portfolio of battery electric and semi-autonomous technology for underground mining.
Cat hosted the electric mining truck demonstration for Newmont Corporation and other mining industry leaders, at its proving ground in Tasmania, Australia. The successful demo comes on the heels of the 793 battery electric prototype surface mining truck, which was unveiled in November of 2022.
Caterpillar developed its first battery electric prototype underground mining truck with customer input and support from Newmont Corporation. The companies are collaborating to achieve Newmont’s vision of a fully connected, automated, zero carbon emitting, end-to-end mining system.
“This milestone is a reflection of the partnership between our teams at Newmont and Caterpillar, showcasing the impact of strong collaboration in the mining industry,” said Rob Atkinson, Executive Vice President at Newmont. “Achieving this milestone together, combining capabilities and shared values, is a testament to the strength of our strategic alliance.”
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The battery electric truck will complete Caterpillar’s first fully electric underground load and haul solution when paired with the commercially available R1700 XE battery electric loader.
“This is a milestone for the entire Caterpillar team as we work closer than ever with Newmont to provide more sustainable choices for the underground mining industry,” said Denise Johnson, Caterpillar’s Resource Industries Group President.
Caterpillar also demonstrated its growing autonomy and automation capabilities. This technology addresses some of the key safety challenges faced by underground mining customers, like the risk of collision when moving heavy machinery through dark, cramped spaces.
Autonomous trucks can help to enhance mine site safety by removing operators from potentially hazardous or remote sites. As well, these features can improve productivity by creating increased visibility for mine site coordinators, enabling more consistent operations for both staffed and autonomous machines.
“We are building on our foundation of industry-leading autonomous solutions for surface operations, along with our deep experience in underground technology, to provide significant improvement in both productivity and safety for underground mining customers,” Johnson said.