Swedish-Swiss equipment and technology company ABB and major international mining and drilling contractor Perenti have agreed to pool human and technical resources to explore underground and openpit mining electrification opportunities.
The two companies say they have signed an agreement to form a joint team to “establish recommendations and strategies for net zero emissions mining”.
“Focus areas include electrification of mining operations, power distribution and power management,” they said in a joint statement.
“Together, the teams plan to explore business models and solutions to provide wider services for pilot, brownfield and greenfield mining customer projects to support the electrification of operations.”
Perenti is an Australian Securities Exchange-listed mining service provider with about 9000 employees and forecasting fiscal 2023 turnover of A$2.6-2.7 billion. It has operations in Australia, Africa, North America and Europe.
ABB, the US$60 billion automation and electrification giant, derives about 8% of its $29 billion annual revenue from the mining and metals market.
It was among eight groups judged as finalists in the recent BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale-sponsored Charge On Innovation Challenge that invited equipment and technology vendors to posit novel electric-truck charging solutions. ABB came up with a dual-charging system for stationary and dynamic charging.
The company’s process industries president Joachim Braun said in the joint statement mining customers were “committed to facing environmental, societal and economic challenges head on as they aim to decarbonise mining operations”.
“With ABB’s sector leading position in electric-mine technology development, and Perenti’s excellence and experience in mine development and mine operations, the scope of this collaboration is a perfect opportunity to make real progress in providing electric solutions that will decarbonise the industry.”
Braun was in Sydney, Australia, earlier this month to attend and speak at the IMARC mining conference.
He said there that more collaboration in the mining industry – among miners themselves, as well as service providers and suppliers – was vital to speeding delivery of needed electrification, automation and digital technologies and integration paths.
“It’s of utmost importance that we come to a more collaborative spirit,” he said at the conference.
“If we look at the challenges ahead of us as really centennial, not day-to-day challenges – something which will change the industry for years to come – I think we have to be humble enough to understand that no one will have all of the capability in his or her own organisation.
“This is not business as usual.
“We need to forge [collaborative] partnerships … get the best and the brightest around the table to chart the way forward.
“Once we have charted the way, we can fall back into our typical competitive behaviour again.
“But for the time being … let’s collaborate to get a grip on these challenges.
“We have done this now with a couple of players and we have been part of some end-user-driven [collaboration] initiatives, and we have seen extremely powerful things coming out of this.”