A trio of top global mining operators – BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale – have come together on a mission crucial to the future of mining with the launch of the Charge On Innovation Challenge, a competition inviting innovators from across the world to develop new design concepts for haul truck electrification systems.
The contest, open now, aims to help significantly reduce surface mining operation emissions as well as boost improvements in safety, productivity and operations. The three operators are the founding patrons of the competition alongside Australia’s Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) group Austmine.
Austmine said the challenge should attract interest from resource companies with substantial haul ruck fleets that are looking for new concepts that will bring electricity to large battery-electric machines.
“Current stationary charging systems require substantial time to charge large trucks, which would result in significant lost productivity,” the companies said.
“The mining industry needs multi-megawatt scale fast charging concepts capable of delivering around 400 kWh to charge (and propel) a truck within the truck’s haul cycle (load, travel, dump, return, queue).”
According to Austmine CEO Christine Gibbs Stewart, 80% of METS companies supply products and services outside mining, so the challenge leverages their experience and innovation as well – from areas of industry such as automotive, battery makers, aerospace, defence and other sectors.
“We are confident that we will find a solution to the delivery of electricity to trucks in the complex operating environment of a large surface mine,” the CEO said.
“We expect the challenge will attract companies from a broad range of sectors … to deliver selected charging concepts to create a standard product that can interface with all trucks.”
The Challenge Expression of Interest process opened Tuesday, 18 May. Candidates who make the short list will pitch their concepts later this year.
More information on entry is available at https://chargeoninnovation.com.