Newmont, Cat team up to electrify mining
Alliance to develop automated, zero-carbon mining systems Metal Tech News - November 10, 2021
Last updated 3/21/2022 at 2:30pm
In a deal that is expected to electrify the future of mining, Newmont Corp. plans to invest $100 million into a strategic alliance with Caterpillar Inc. to develop fully connected, automated, and zero-carbon emitting mining systems.
This marks a major step in Newmont's commitment to reduce its global greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030, with the ultimate objective of transforming to a carbon-neutral mining company by 2050.
"A year ago, Newmont announced industry-leading emission reduction targets because we understand the human contribution to climate change. We followed with a commitment to invest $500 million over five years to identify pathways forward as we firmly believe that we must make bold, lasting commitments to achieve the necessary change for a bright, healthy future," said Newmont President and CEO Tom Palmer "Today, we furthered that commitment by announcing a new strategic alliance with Caterpillar to address climate change by fundamentally changing the mining industry through the rapid development and implementation of a comprehensive all-electric autonomous mining system to achieve zero emissions mining."
With its surface and underground mining fleets being responsible for roughly 40% of Newmont's carbon emissions, eliminating the tailpipes on these massive diggers and heavy haulers is critical to achieving the ambitious climate goals set by the world's largest gold mining company.
To electrify and automate its global mining fleet, Newmont has forged a strategic alliance with Caterpillar, a world leader when it comes to mining equipment and technologies.
"Caterpillar is committed to providing transformational advancements in safety, sustainability and technology," said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby. "We share Newmont's dedication to a reduced-carbon future, and we're honored to work together on this industry-leading effort."
Find out more about the Caterpillar mining equipment and technologies featured at the MINExpo 2021 convention in Las Vegas at Caterpillar committed to better mining in the September 15, 2021 edition of Metal Tech News.
Under the strategic alliance with Caterpillar, Newmont plans to invest an initial $100 million toward achieving initial automation and electrification goals for the surface and underground mining infrastructure and haulage fleets at its Cripple Creek and Victor mine in Colorado, and Tanami mine in Australia's Northern Territory.
This includes the introduction of a fleet of 16 autonomous haulage vehicles at Cripple Creek and Victor, a collection of four surface mines that will produce roughly 322,000 ounces of gold per year by 2023. The longer-term plan is to transition this fleet to electric and implement Caterpillar's advanced electrification and infrastructure system, with delivery of a test fleet in 2026.
Caterpillar is still in the early stages of developing battery-electric surface mining equipment. To accelerate this effort, the world-renowned heavy equipment manufacturer entered into a partnership with Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc., an emerging Canadian miner that aspires to provide carbon-neutral graphite for the lithium-ion batteries powering electric vehicles and storing renewable energy.
For Nouveau Monde, this partnership will lower the carbon footprint of producing graphite at its coming Matawinie mine in Quebec, a reduction that will be echoed in the EVs driven by consumers with Matawinie graphite in their batteries.
For Caterpillar, this provides an ideal test site for developing a zero-emissions mine from the ground up.
"It gives us that opportunity to be deeply engaged with the people on the ground and really understand their goals," Marc Cameron, vice president of Caterpillar's Resource Industries told Metal Tech News.
This provides the equipment manufacturer a head start on validating a first-of-a-kind battery-electric haulage technology in the years prior to full production of autonomous and electric haulage equipment for Newmont's Cripple Creek and Victor mine.
Under its strategic alliance with Newmont, Caterpillar will also develop its first battery-electric zero-emissions underground truck to be deployed at the Tanami Mine by 2026.
This deployment is expected to include a fleet of up to 10 battery-electric underground haul trucks, supported by Caterpillar's advanced electrification and infrastructure system. This includes first-of-a-kind battery-electric haulage technology for underground mining in 2024 and the introduction of battery autonomous technology in 2025. Full deployment of this fleet is expected by 2026.
These mines will serve as surface and underground proving grounds to validate autonomous and electrified mining equipment that will improve safety, productivity, and energy efficiency across all of Newmont's global operations.
And by leveraging the global gold miner's financial and operational wherewithal, the automated and electrified mining technologies developed under the Newmont-Caterpillar alliance are expected to revolutionize the entire global mining sector.