Anglo American unveiled its first hydrogen-powered mine haul truck in the Limpopo province of South Africa.

The truck was introduced at Anglo's Mogalakwena platinum gold metals mine in Mokopane.

The 2MW hydrogen-battery hybrid pack can carry 290 tonnes and was developed by the company's nuGen Zero Emission Haulage Solution system.

NuGen, a part of Anglo's FutureSmart Mining initiative, developed a green hydrogen system. This includes production, fuelling, and a hauling system. Green hydrogen will be produced at Mogalakwena.

"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," Anglo American chief executive Duncan Wanblad said.

"If the 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 worked with French energy firm Engie, Seattle-based First Mode, British Columbia's Ballard Power Systems, and Dutch company Nproxx to develop its hydrogen technologies.

The companies together designed and tested the 1.2MWh battery pack to deliver a total of 2MW of power to the trucks. They also designed software to manage power and energy between fuel cells, batteries, and vehicle drivetrain.

The group also developed a hydrogen production, storage, and refuelling complex at Mogalakwena, as well as a solar plant to assist haul truck operations incorporated with the largest electrolyser in Africa.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the unveiling of the hydrogen haul truck technology.

This article first appeared in sister publication Mining Magazine on 6 May 2022. Credit: Jax Jacobsen