Mining firm BHP has teamed up with construction and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar to develop and deploy zero-emissions trucks at mining sites to reduce emissions.

The move follows 12 months of collaboration between the two firms on analysing ways to sustainably address energy demands.

The partners also evaluated options to implement the new technology at BHP-owned sites to reduce operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Through the partnership, BHP will have early access to Caterpillar-developed zero-emissions equipment, as well as opportunities for practical learning to ensure its successful deployment.

The miner expects the collaboration to help shape the processes, technology and infrastructure needed to support future zero-emissions machines and mine sites.

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BHP chief commercial officer Vandita Pant said: “Climate change is a critical global challenge and we know that partnering with others will help accelerate the transition to a low carbon future.

“The opportunity for our teams to input into the design process also gives us confidence that the trucks will be safer and easier to operate for a workforce that’s more diverse than ever.”

Over the coming year, BHP will work with Caterpillar to provide frontline operator and maintainer input into the Caterpillar design process.

This work would enable the machines to be run by a broader range of the workforce, BHP said.

Caterpillar group president Denise Johnson said: “Caterpillar is pleased to work with BHP on the next generation of large mining trucks and mine site technology. Deeply integrating our teams and timelines will allow for faster deployment to deliver zero-emissions solutions.”

Mining firm Champion Iron recently signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Caterpillar for AI-powered drilling technologies on Cat equipment at its Bloom Lake Mine in Canada.

The LOI involves the progressive deployment of a remote-controlled, semi-autonomous and fully autonomous Cat electric drilling fleet.