Caterpillar Inc. has successfully demonstrated its first battery electric prototype for an underground mining truck.
According to the company, the development is added to the company’s growing portfolio of battery electric and semi-autonomous technology for underground mining applications.
The demonstration for Newmont and other industry leaders, at the company’s proving ground in Tasmania, Australia, 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 voice of 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, Newmont.
“Achieving this milestone together, combining capabilities and shared values, is a testament to the strength of our strategic alliance.”
This 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.
Denise Johnson, Caterpillar’s Resource Industries group president said, “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.”
Caterpillar also completed a demonstration of its growing autonomy and automation capabilities. This technology addresses some of the key safety challenges faced daily by our underground 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. Additionally, these features can improve productivity by creating increased visibility for mine site coordinators, enabling more consistent operations for both staffed and autonomous machines.
Johnson added, “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.”
This demonstration is the latest example of Caterpillar’s progress, developing more sustainable offerings for the mining industry, both on the surface and underground.