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Newmont, Caterpillar form alliance

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Autonomous haulage system

Autonomous haulage system control room in Boddington, Western Australia.

DENVER — Newmont Corp. announced a strategic alliance with Caterpillar Inc., producer of what Newmont called the world’s most comprehensive suite of mining equipment and technologies, to deliver a fully connected, automated, zero carbon emitting, end-to-end mining system.

Together, they will collaborate to create a safer, more productive mine, and substantially support Newmont in reaching their 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of more than 30%, with an ultimate goal of being net zero carbon by 2050, according to the Nov. 10 announcement.

“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 Tom Palmer, president and chief executive officer of Newmont.

He said the alliance with Caterpillar will “address climate change by fundamentally managing the mining industry through rapid development and implementation of a comprehensive all-electric autonomous mining system to achieve zero emissions mining.”

Newmont, which is the world’s largest mining company and the 38.5% partner with Barrick Gold Corp. in Nevada Gold Mines, stated that Newmont’s surface and underground mining fleets are responsible for roughly 40% of the company’s carbon emissions.

The company reported it would also be supporting Caterpillar’s validation of evolving features and functionality within the MineStar suite to be deployed across Newmont’s surface and underground assets globally to facilitate centralized production and asset management.

“Caterpillar is committed to providing transformational advancements in safety, sustainability and technology,” said Jim Umpleby, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc. “We share Newmont’s dedication to a reduced-carbon future, and we’re honored to work together on this industry’s leading effort.”

Newmont’s Boddington Mine in Australia recently completed full conversion to autonomous Caterpillar haul trucks, and the two other Newmont mines will be testing Caterpillar equipment soon.

Under the agreement, Newmont plans to provide a preliminary investment of $100 million as the companies set initial automation and electrification goals for surface and underground mining infrastructures and haulage fleets at Newmont’s Cripple Creek & Victor Mine in Colorado and the Tanami Mine in Australia.

Plans call for introducing a fully automated haulage fleet of up to 16 vehicles at CC&V through 2023, with a transition to haulage fleet electrification and implementation of Caterpillar’s advanced electrification and infrastructure system with a delivery of a test fleet in 2026.

The announcement also states that Caterpillar will develop its first battery election zero-emissions underground truck to be deployed at Tanami by 2026. The deployment will include a fleet of up to 10 battery electric underground haulage trucks with full deployment in 2026.

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