Rio Tinto and BHP Collaborate on Testing Komatsu and Caterpillar Electric Haul Trucks to Decarbonize Australian Mining Operations

May 29, 2024
The two companies will work closely with the manufacturers to conduct independent trials of their battery-electric haul trucks, including testing the batteries and static and dynamic charging systems

Rio Tinto and BHP are set to collaborate on the testing of large battery-electric haul truck technology in the Pilbara, Western Australia, to accelerate the technology's potential for future deployment in mining operations. 

“This collaboration brings together two leading global miners with two of the world’s biggest manufacturers of haul trucks to work on solving the critical challenge of zero-emissions haulage," said Simon Trott, CEO of Rio Tinto. “There is no clear path to net zero without zero-emissions haulage, so it’s important that we work together to get there as quickly and efficiently as we can. Testing two types of battery-electric haul trucks in Pilbara conditions will provide better data, and by combining our efforts with BHP we will accelerate learning."

The two companies will work closely with manufacturers Caterpillar and Komatsu to conduct independent trials of their battery-electric haul trucks, including testing the batteries and static and dynamic charging systems, to understand the technology's performance and productivity in the Pilbara environment. 

Under the collaboration, Caterpillar will provide two Cat 793 haul trucks, which will be trialed in the second half of 2024 by BHP. In addition, Komatsu will provide two Komatsu 930 haul trucks, which will be trialed from 2026 by Rio Tinto at mining locations across the Pilbara region. 

All outcomes from the trials will be shared between BHP and Rio Tinto, and the testing represents the first stage of battery-electric haul truck testing at BHP and Rio Tinto's Pilbara operations. 

In total, this testing reflects advancement from BHP, Rio Tinto, Komatsu, and Caterpillar in supporting Rio Tinto and BHP's shared ambition of achieving net zero operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“Replacing diesel as a fuel source requires us to develop a whole new operational ecosystem to surround the fleet. We need to address the way we plan our mines, operate our haulage networks, and consider the additional safety and operational considerations that these changes will bring. This is why trials are so critical to our success as we seek to test and learn how these new technologies will work in practice and integrate into our mines," said Geraldine Slattery, President of BHP Australia. 

About the Author

EnergyTech Staff

Rod Walton is senior editor for He has spent 14 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist.

Walton formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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