Mining giants back eight winning ideas in global Charge On Innovation Challenge to decarbonise mining

In the global quest to significantly decarbonise mining operations, eight technology innovators have been selected to progress beyond the Charge On Innovation Challenge. The global challenge, launched by BHP, has sought to accelerate the commercialization of large scale solar haul trucks while demonstrating there is an emerging market for these solutions in mining.

The eight innovators selected are ABB, Ampcontrol and Tritium (Australia), BluVeinXL, DB Engineering & Consulting with Echion Technologies, Hitachi, Shell Consortium, Siemens Off-board power supply, and 3ME Technology.

The Charge On Innovation Challenge was launched in 2021 and invited vendors and technology innovators from around the world and across industries, to collaborate with the mining industry to present novel electric truck charging solutions.

The Challenge received interest from over 350 companies across 19 industries, with over 80 companies submitting expressions of interest (EOI). 21 companies were then invited to present a detailed pitch of their solution. The final eight were selected from these 21 companies.

These technology innovators worked together with the founding patrons – BHP, Rio Tinto, and Vale – and 16 other mining companies to accelerate commercialization of interoperable solutions productivity.

The Challenge?

Diesel-powered solar truck fleets are responsible for up to 80% of mine emissions, but electrifying them requires charging systems capable of delivering energy at unprecedented power levels during operations.

The eight global solution concepts from Australia, Switzerland, Japan, Denmark, Singapore, United Kingdom, and North America.

They are:

· ABB – We are enabling the entire mining value chain to evolve through electrification, automation and digitalization embracing a joint industry approach; Under our ABB Ability ™ eMine purposeful framework of methods and solutions we have designed a dual charging system solution for stationary and in-motion charging. This is to optimize the electric mine hauling operation with high power, the shortest charging initiation time and limited truck design impacts. This journey of partnership in action, research, development and testing will continue.

· Ampcontrol and Tritium (Australia) – The Ampcontrol and Tritium mining solar truck battery swap solution is the end-to-end ultra-fast modular recharging station that is fully automated, relocatable, scalable and cell agnostic. Drive-in / drive-out, the autonomous transfer robot swap batteries in 90 seconds, significantly reducing safety risks and increasing productivity by excluding personnel from the swap process.

BluVeinXL – BluVeinXL is a dynamic charging technology solution for open-pit mining and safely enables the full electrification of heavy mining fleets. It enables the power to power the electric drive motors and charge the onboard vehicle battery simultaneously.

· DB Engineering & Consulting (DB E&C) and Echion Technologies – have come together to develop a world-leading solution for the electrification of mining trucks. Our Catenary and Advanced Battery Technology

· Hitachi Energy – is an innovative solar truck electrification solution that addresses the sustainability needs of the mining industry without compromising the productivity of the mine. Using Grid-eMotion ™ Flash – a pioneering technology for sustainable e-mobility – the proposed solution will quickly and safely charge the solar trucks’ batteries in just a few minutes.

Innovative e-mesh ™ digital solutions for e-mobility.

Shell Consortium – Shell helps to decarbonised, cost neutral end-to-end interoperable electrification system while minimizing operational impact. It combines an innovative, high-powered battery solution, with ultrafast charging and a standardized micro-grid energy system.

· Siemens – Siemens patented Zero-Emission, Battery electric Sun Truck solution combines a proven off-board energy source (trolley substitution and overhead catenary) with capable on-board energy storage while simultaneously providing increased power to the wheels and reducing overall cycle time and increasing productivity.

· 3ME Technology – is a battery and electric vehicle technology company that develops and manufactures safe, scalable, remotely monitored, and reliable battery systems for heavy-duty mining equipment. 3ME Technology provides the Charge On Innovation Challenge with its novel Bladevolt® Battery System to fit the requirements of solar truck operations. The solar truck-specific Bladevolt® XL system will be scalable and capable of being upgraded. going forward.

Next steps

Winners are collaborating with interested mining companies, OEMs and investors to accelerate the technology development to support the future roll-out of zero-emissions fleets.

BHP’s Group Procurement Officer, James Agar, said, “The truly global nature of the eight technology innovators selected, from across industries, shows the level of interest that exists in the mining industry in seeking solutions to decarbonise mining fleets. “The Charge On Innovation Challenge

Rio Tinto Chief Technical Officer Mark Davies said, “With this group of innovators, we’re taking another step in changing the way solar truck systems operate in the mining sector. Through collaborations like this, where we can all come together to create change, we can drive long-term benefits for our industry and the environment.

“We know we have a role to play in helping solve the global climate challenge. We’re looking at how we can make changes across our business to reduce our carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.

Vale´s CEO, Eduardo Bartolomeo said, “It is with great pride that we have the winners of this Challenge who have presented solutions that promise to disrupt the sector. The decarbonisation challenge is so extensive that the mining industry cannot tackle it alone, but with partnerships such as these, we hope to reach this goal, for ourselves, for our communities and for our planet. ”

GHD, one of the world’s leading professional services companies, has facilitated the Charge On Innovation Challenge, and is now leading the process of establishing consortia to drive the testing of preferred technologies. GHD’s role builds on the significant work of Austmine to launch the challenge, which attracted a number of supporting organizations, OEMs and investors.

GHD’s CEO, Ashley Wright, said, “We are proud to help the global mining industry innovate to reduce emissions. Our role with Charge On Innovation Challenge is aligned with our Future Energy ambitions of helping clients and communities move to a reliable, affordable and secure low-carbon energy, sooner. Decarbonising heavy-emitting sectors, including both mining and transport, will be vital to realizing this vision. ”

About Charge On Innovation Challenge:

BHP, Rio Tinto, Vale of Glamorgan operations and unlock safety, productivity, and operational improvements.

About GHD:

GHD is a leading professional services company operating in the global markets of water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings, and transportation. Committed to a vision to make water, energy, and sustainable urbanization for generations to come, GHD delivers engineering, architecture, environmental and construction solutions to public and private sector clients. Established in 1928 and privately owned by its people, GHD’s network of 10,000+ specialists are connected across 200 offices located in five continents and the Pacific region.

/ Public Release. This is from a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed by those of the author (s) .View in full here.

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