The first Early Learner CAT 793 battery-electric haul truck (BEHT) is on its way to BHP from the US, expected to arrive at Jimblebar mine in Western Australia in October 2024.   

BHP Vice President Operational Decarbonisation, Dan Heal, who visited Caterpillar’s Proving Ground in Tucson in the US with some of his team, said that it was incredibly exciting to see the battery-electric truck in action.  

“Not only do these trials represent an important step on BHP’s operational decarbonisation journey, but the technical outcomes could help to inform how we approach these challenges moving forward,” Mr Heal said.  

“As we progress towards potential deployments, we need to consider how we plan our mines, manage power demand, charge equipment, the skills we will need, and most importantly, safety.”  

BHP Vice President Global Mining and Services, Sebastian Greco, said that taking action requires challenging the market to approach technology development differently. 

“It requires the industry to innovate and adopt new collaborative methods, to identify solutions through studies and proof-of-concept trials and it requires us to learn together as we go,” Mr Greco said.  

“Securing the first CAT Early Learner battery-electric haul truck is a reflection of the ongoing collaboration between BHP and Caterpillar and we are thrilled to be working together on this trial.”   

In preparation, BHP’s Jimblebar mine is completing upgrades to site electrical transmission and distribution to enable high power charging infrastructure.   

BHP said that acquisition of this truck is part of actions to decarbonise its operations, by seeking to reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions in three key ways: diesel displacement, fugitive emissions elimination, and electrification.   

Image: matsiukpavel/shutterstock.com 

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