MELBOURNE, RAW – The world’s top three iron ore miners have launched a competition to crowdsource efficient ways to deliver power to battery-electric haulage truck fleets as they strive to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The “Charge on Innovation Challenge”, run by Australian miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto, and Brazil’s Vale SA with Australian mining services body Austmine, is looking for fast-charging concepts that would deliver about 400 kilowatt-hours of electricity to truck fleets at remote mine sites.

The mining industry is looking to move its diesel-powered truck fleets to electric to cut emissions. But one of the issues is that current stationary charging systems require lots of time to charge large trucks, which would impact productivity, they said in a joint statement.

Diesel is a major contributor to miners’ carbon emissions.

“We expect the challenge will stimulate innovative ideas, some of which could be immediately applied to existing diesel-electric equipment and help fast-track implementation of longer-term solutions,” BHP Minerals Australia president Edgar Basto said.

Participants would need to come up with a solution that would charge and propel the 220-tonne trucks within the truck’s haul cycle, which consists of load, travel, dump, return and queue.

Expressions of interest will be open from May 18, and shortlisted candidates are expected to pitch their concepts later during this calendar year.