BHP Group Limited (BHP), Caterpillar Inc. (Caterpillar), and Finning International Inc. (Finning) announced an agreement to replace BHP's entire haul truck fleet at the Escondida mine, located in the Antofagasta Region, northern Chile.
This agreement is part of the strategic equipment renewal process developed by Escondida. The new Caterpillar 798 AC electric drive trucks will feature technology that delivers improvements in material-moving capacity, efficiency, reliability, and safety and generate an impact in initiatives for the future, such as decarbonization, diversity and inclusion, autonomous technologies, and the development of local capabilities.
The first trucks are expected to arrive at the mine in the second half of 2023, with delivery of the remaining trucks to extend over the next 10 years.
Maintenance and support services provided under the agreement advance BHP's local employment and gender balance strategies. Finning´s Integrated Knowledge Center, located in Antofagasta, will provide technical support for the fleet.
The agreement also allows Escondida | BHP to accelerate the implementation of its autonomy plans by transitioning the fleet to include technology that enables autonomous operation. In addition, the agreements set forth a technological path that helps Escondida | BHP meet its decarbonization goals, through the progressive implementation of zero-emission trucks.
"This agreement is an important step to continue projecting into the future Escondida | BHP´s leadership in the industry. It will allow us to generate significant efficiencies at the operational level, but it is also in line with some of the main challenges that drive us as a company: innovation for the future of mining, decarbonization, and development of capabilities in Antofagasta´s community. We have great expectations regarding the benefits that will be generated in the short and long term for both the company and the Antofagasta region," said James Whittaker, president of Escondida | BHP.