Komatsu Forms Alliance to Advance Development of Zero-Emissions Mining Equipment

The Komatsu Greenhous Gas Alliance will bring together industry partners to develop, test and deploy zero-emissions mining equipment.

Komatsu's power agnostic development truck undergoes testing at a Komatsu facility in the United States.
Komatsu's power agnostic development truck undergoes testing at a Komatsu facility in the United States.
Komatsu Mining Corp.

Komatsu has announced the formation of an industry alliance to aid the advancement of zero-emissions mining equipment. The Komatsu Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Alliance brings the company together with several of its customers to collaborate on ways to reduce emissions from mining equipment and operations. 

Founding members of the new alliance include Rio Tinto, BHP, Codelco and Boliden. 

Komatsu and its alliance members will work closely together on product planning, development, testing and deployment of next-generation zero-emissions mining equipment and infrastructure the company says in its press release announcing the new alliance. Initially, the group will work to advance development of Komatsu's power agnostic truck concept which is a haulage vehicle capable of running on various power sources including

  • diesel electric, 
  • electric, 
  • trolley (wired), 
  • battery power, and
  • hydrogen fuel cells. 

This will enable customers to choose the solution which best fits their operational needs. Komatsu intends to debut the concept truck at MINExpo INTERNATIONAL 2021

“We are honored that our customers, several of the largest mining companies in the world, have agreed to participate in the Komatsu GHG Alliance and work in partnership with us to develop sustainable solutions for mining,” said Masayuki Moriyama, President of Komatsu’s Mining Business Division, in the company's press release announcing the alliance. “We look forward to close collaboration with these industry leaders to accelerate development and deployment of the next level of equipment designed to reduce greenhouse gases from mining operations and ultimately achieve the goal of zero-emission mining.”

By forming the new alliance, Komatsu is able to bring together those in the industry who understand best how mining equipment and technology is utilized, and what is needed for the industry to succeed. It also fits in with Komatsu's own environmental goals. The company is currently targeting a 50% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from use of its products and production facilities by 2030 (compared to 2010 levels). Komatsu aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. 

The company currently offers several pieces of equipment which can help customers reduce emissions such as its electric diesel dump trucks, electric power shovels, and inclusion of regenerative energy storage technology. 

Rio Tinto testing equipment at mine sites

Komatsu's long-time customer Rio Tinto has announced it will conduct pre-production trials of the new equipment developed through the alliance at one of its global mine sites. It will then have the option to purchase some of the first vehicles once they become commercially available. 

Collaborating with Komatsu as part of the new alliance not only ensures Rio Tinto can provide its input as a global mining company but also helps its decarbonization efforts. 

“Rio Tinto and Komatsu both recognize the critical role zero-emission haul trucks play in meeting the GHG emission reduction goals for the mining industry and the need to focus on developing practical haulage solutions. We are looking forward to advanced collaboration with them,” said Moriyama in Rio Tinto's press release announcing its collaboration with Komatsu through the new alliance.

Rio Tinto is also a founding member of the Charge On Innovation Challenge which is working to develop power distribution infrastructure capable of supporting zero-emissions haul trucks. 

Komatsu has been collaborating with Rio Tinto since 2008 on the test and deployment of autonomous haul trucks; expanding the companies' long-standing partnership demonstrates their efforts to improve the productivity and sustainability of the mining industry. A Komatsu haul truck operates autonomously at Rio Tinto’s mine in Australia.A Komatsu haul truck operates autonomously at Rio Tinto’s mine in Australia.Komatsu Mining Corp.

“We know that addressing climate change effectively requires businesses, governments and society to work together. Our collaboration with Komatsu recognises the role zero-emission haul trucks will play in meeting the emission reduction goals of not only Rio Tinto, but the entire mining industry,” said  Alf Barrios, Rio Tinto’s Chief Commercial Officer.