JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The first motion of the world’s largest hydrogen-powered mine haul truck is scheduled for mid-2020, with testing continuing at Anglo American Platinum’s Mogalakwena mine until the end of the year.
This climate-positive development by London- and Johannesburg-listed Anglo American will be open to the mining industry as a whole and not just the company alone, Anglo American spokesperson Katie Ryall stated in an emailed response to Mining Weekly Online.
“Commercialisation plans are being developed, but our goal is to introduce this solution to the industry so that it’s available to everyone,” Ryall stated.
The diversified mining company, which produces platinum-group metals, diamonds, copper and iron-ore, is collaborating with the hydrogen business unit of French company Engie to decarbonise the mining sector.
The system solution is dependent on generating hydrogen using renewable energy sources, and Engie has the capability to provide this.
The approach is to produce hydrogen with excess photovoltaic power and then allow that hydrogen to be consumed in trucks. This provides energy security, price resilience, lower greenhouse gas emissions, a move to the hydrogen economy using the next generation of mining vehicles and an opportunity for community participation.
On the truck competing price-wise with diesel equivalents, Ryall said: "Eventually it will. Our goal is to achieve a better economic solution than current diesel trucks. This is also a country-specific issue due to fuel subsidies and tax regimes that are in place - this will dictate the competitiveness of the solution in different jurisdictions.”
The development is part of the company’s vision of ultimately operating a carbon-neutral mine.
“Every truck that we buy in the future, depending on the success of Mogalakwena, will be targeted as a hydrogen, autonomous-ready truck,” Anglo American Chile CEO Aaron Puna told Mining Weekly Online in Santiago last week.
“The fact that we’ve been relentless in pursuing hydrogen trucks to the point where we didn’t wait for original-equipment manufacturers and we’re building that with off-the-shelf materials from a number of different companies and suppliers, and we’re making that work, is really a testament to the direction of the business,” he added.
Anglo, a formal supporter of the Task Force for Climate Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), is aligning with TCFD recommendations, which require companies to test their resilience in quantitative terms regarding their impact on climate change, including their contribution to not exceeding a 2° temperature increase.