Mineral Resources (MinRes) will be the first miner in Western Australia to take delivery of Australian-engineered electric Toyota HiLux utes for its mine site operations.
The investment is a demonstration of MinRes’ commitment to decarbonise its mining operations in Western Australia, which includes two of the world’s largest hard-rock lithium mines.
MinRes placed the order with mining industry vehicle supplier and global systems integrator MEVCO, which recently announced a partnership with SEA Electric to electrify Toyota HiLux and LandCruiser utes.
From its factory in Melbourne, SEA Electric is converting the vehicles from diesel-powered engines to all-electric using its SEA-Drive power-system.
The HiLux utes purchased by MinRes will be fitted with an 88kWh battery that provides a range of up to 380km and can be charged up to 80 per cent in less than one hour.
The mine site-ready electric vehicles produce no noise, fumes, heat or vibrations.
A demonstration model arrived in Perth this week and MinRes is expected to take delivery of the first batch of electric utes in April.
MinRes, which is committed to net zero emissions by 2050, will use the electric utes at its various mine operations across Western Australia, including at the Koolyanobbing iron ore mine in the Yilgarn.
The addition of the electric utes comes two years after MinRes took delivery of the first all-electric light truck to roll off the SEA Electric production line.
MinRes is cutting emissions at its mining operations through a variety of technologies, including plans to transition road trains at its Onslow Iron project from diesel to electric.
At the Wonmunna iron ore project in the Pilbara, a 2.1 megawatt solar array and battery system is being installed that will provide 30 per cent of the site’s energy requirements.
MinRes is also supporting the world’s transition to a clean, renewable future by producing high-quality spodumene concentrate and battery grade lithium hydroxide from the world-class Mt Marion and Wodgina mines, in the Goldfields and Pilbara regions respectively.
MinRes Chief Executive Officer, Mining Services Mike Grey said: “MinRes has a plan to transition to a low-carbon future and cutting our reliance on diesel is central to achieving this goal. Our MEVCO electric utes are just one of the many ways we’re driving towards net zero and an exciting step in our decarbonization journey.
“Battery technologies are key to a clean energy future and MinRes is playing a significant role in achieving this global goal. As the world races towards decarbonisation, we are part of the journey because it’s not just good business but the right thing to do.”
MEVCO Chief Executive Officer Matt Cahir added: “While many companies talk about decarbonisation, MinRes is actually doing it. Partnering with one of the leading innovators in the mining industry is testimony to the MEVCO HiLux ute.
“MinRes is a company that is at the forefront of innovation and understands how that culture attracts and keeps the best mining talent in the industry. We are excited to be part of MinRes’ decarbonisation journey.”