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, the world's largest copper producer, 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 significant improvements in material-moving capacity, efficiency, reliability, and safety and generate a positive impact in key initiatives for the future, such as decarbonization, diversity and inclusion, autonomous technologies, and the development of local capabilities.
Moving towards mining of the future
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 as the three companies work to replace one of the largest fleets in the industry worldwide, currently comprised of over 160 haul trucks. 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 top of the line industry 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.
BHP, Caterpillar, and Finning uphold their commitment of contributing to the economic and social development of Antofagasta, through the generation of local capabilities related to the development of mining equipment technologies.
“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.
“The Caterpillar team is excited to support the successful deployment of machines and technology that will facilitate a step-function improvement in BHP’s operational excellence. We applaud BHP as this mine site transformation accelerates the delivery of their aggressive sustainability targets,” said Denise Johnson, group president Resource Industries, Caterpillar Inc.
“We are very pleased to build on our long-term relationship with BHP to support its Escondida operations by improving efficiency, productivity, and safety, as well as reducing its carbon footprint, supporting its diversity and inclusion journey, and contributing to the development of capabilities in Antofagasta. This is the largest fleet deal in Finning’s history, and will significantly expand the Caterpillar truck population and support the transition towards cleaner energy, with electric drive trucks, and future zero-emission trucks,” said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Finning International.
BHP (bhp.com) is a world-leading resources company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. We operate at more than 90 locations around the world our teams work on extracting, processing and transporting the high-quality commodities the world needs to grow and decarbonise. Copper for renewable energy. Nickel for electric vehicles. Potash for sustainable farming. Iron ore and metallurgical coal for the steel needed for global infrastructure and the energy transition. A resources mix for today and for the future.
With 2021 sales and revenues of $51.0 billion, Caterpillar, Inc. (caterpillar.com) is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, off-highway diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been helping customers build a better, more sustainable world and are committed and contributing to a reduced-carbon future. Our innovative products and services, backed by our global dealer network, provide exceptional value that helps customers succeed. Caterpillar does business on every continent, principally operating through three primary segments Construction Industries, Resource Industries and Energy & Transportation and providing financing and related services through our Financial Products segment. Visit us at caterpillar.com or join the conversation on our social media channels.
Finning (finning.com) is the world’s largest Caterpillar dealer delivering unrivalled service to customers for nearly 90 years. Headquartered in Surrey, British Columbia, we provide Caterpillar equipment, parts, services, and performance solutions in Western Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.