SOUTH AFRICA – A prototype of the world’s largest hydrogen-powered mine haul truck designed to operate in everyday mining conditions has been launched by Anglo American plc at its Mogalakwena PGMs mine in South Africa.
The 2MW hydrogen-battery hybrid truck, generating more power than its diesel predecessor and capable of carrying a 290-tonne payload, is part of Anglo American’s nuGen™ Zero Emission Haulage Solution (ZEHS).
nuGen™ is part of FutureSmart Mining™, Anglo American’s innovation-led approach to sustainable mining – which brings together technology and digitalisation to drive sustainability outcomes, including our commitment to carbon-neutrality across our operations by 2040.
“nuGen™ is a tangible demonstration of our FutureSmart Mining™ programme changing the future of our industry. With diesel emissions from our haul truck fleet accounting for c.10-15% of our total Scope 1 emissions, this is an important step on our pathway to carbon neutral operations by 2040,” Duncan Wanblad, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said.
“The mining industry is playing a considerable role in helping the world decarbonise, both through our own emissions footprint and the metals and minerals that we produce that are critical to low carbon energy and transport systems.”
He added, “Over the next several years, we envisage converting or replacing our current fleet of diesel-powered trucks with this zero-emission haulage system, fuelled with green hydrogen. If this pilot is successful, we could remove up to 80% of diesel emissions at our open pit mines by rolling this technology across our global fleet.”
Anglo American has been a longstanding champion of the potential offered by the hydrogen economy, recognising its role in enabling the shift to greener energy and cleaner transport. The hydrogen economy provides an opportunity to create new engines of economic activity.
With a combination of abundant renewable energy sources (i.e. solar and wind), and as the world’s largest producer of PGMs, hydrogen is a strategic priority for South Africa and presents a significant opportunity for economic development, including the creation of new jobs and the development of the PGMs sector, while also contributing to South Africa’s decarbonisation objectives.
“We are incredibly proud of what our team, working with expert partners, has achieved in under three years. This is truly a world-class innovation and bears testament to our technical vision and determination to deliver a cleaner and smarter future for mining,” Tony O’Neill, Technical Director of Anglo American, commented.
“It is these game-changing innovations that are exactly why we began our FutureSmart Mining™ journey in 2014, knowing how much of a difference we can make, including in the energy transition and across our societal footprint. Innovative, clean and independent power systems, such as our nuGen™ ZEHS project, offer a significant part of the emissions solution.”
South Africa is party to an historic agreement signed in 2021 with France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union to mobilise an initial US$8.5 billion over the next three to five years through a range of instruments, including grants and concessional finance, to support the implementation of our revised NDC through a just transition to a low carbon and climate resilient economy.
In South Africa, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the South African National Development Institute (SANEDI), in partnership with Anglo American, Bambili Energy, and ENGIE, are looking into opportunities to create a Hydrogen Valley.
The proposed hydrogen valley will stretch approximately 835 kilometres from the platinum group metals-rich Bushveld geological area in Limpopo province, along the industrial and commercial corridor to Johannesburg and to the south coast at Durban.
The nuGen™ Zero Emission Haulage Solution is one of the first projects for South Africa’s Hydrogen Valley.