By Charné Hundermark

Global mining company Anglo American has launched a prototype of the world’s largest hydrogen-fueled mining truck at the Mogalakwena Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) mine in South Africa. Representing part of the company’s nuGen Zero Emission Haulage Solution – an end-to-end integrated green hydrogen production, fueling and haulage system for mine sites developed by the company’s FutureSmart Mining program – the truck marks a significant step towards improving sustainable mining operations both in South Africa and globally.

In the presence of H.E. Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of South Africa, Anglo American unveiled a 2 MW hydrogen-battery hybrid truck that is designed to operate in everyday mining conditions. Anglo American plans to replace the company’s 40 diesel-powered fleet with green hydrogen systems, reducing emissions and ensuring that eight of the company’s mines reach carbon neutrality by 2030. With a capacity to carry up to 315 tons of ore each, solar power will be utilized by a hydrogen electrolyzer that will split water and provide hydrogen fuel.

Following prototype success, “We envisage converting or replacing our current fleet of diesel-powered trucks with this zero-emission haulage system, fueled with green hydrogen,” stated Duncan Wanblad, Chief Executive of Anglo American, adding that, “If this 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.”

H.E. Minister Mantashe stated on Twitter that, “South Africa is endowed with the world’s largest high-grade resources that play a critical role in the global hydrogen and battery storage sector. Therefore, support for the development of the local green hydrogen sector is important for us.”

“nuGen is a tangible demonstration of our FutureSmart Mining program changing the future of our industry. With diesel emissions from our haul truck fleet accounting for c. 10-15% of our total Scope 1 emissions, this is an important step on our pathway to carbon neutral operations by 2040,” added Wanblad.