BHP’s trial of zero-emissions vehicles at the Olympic Dam operation in South Australia in an attempt to reduce exposure to particulate matter is progressing.
The company, which launched the first light electric vehicle last June, said it was committed to halving the number of people exposed to particulate matters (such as diesel), while also replacing fuel with lithium-ion batteries as an energy source for vehicles.
Olympic Dam, which produces copper, gold, silver and uranium, contains over 450 kilometres of underground roads and tunnels.
The company stated that the switch to the electric vehicles could provide not just environmental benefits, but economical ones as well.
“Because we rely on vehicles like this for day-to-day operations, we expect the shift to battery powered, eco-friendly cars will have a significant impact once deployed on a wide scale across our other operations,” BHP announced.
“It’s about more than just shrinking our carbon footprint. We’re banking on emerging technologies, such as light electric vehicles, to be more efficient with lower maintenance costs.”
BHP last month achieved a place on charity Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) annual climate change A list, being recognised as a pioneer in corporate climate disclosure alongside a list of 135 other companies that included household names such as Apple, Toyota, Lego and Microsoft.
For point of contrast, among other mining majors scored in this category, Anglo American scored an A minus, Rio Tinto scored a C, South32, Independence Group and Mineral Resources a D, and Glencore, Evolution Mining, Northern Star, OZ Minerals and Fortescue all ranked F.
“We need to urgently scale up environmental action at all levels in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals,” CDP chief executive officer Paul Simpson said.
“It’s clear that the business world is an essential player in this transition and the A list companies are set to make a substantial contribution to those goals.”