BHP is trialling light electric vehicles (LEVs) at the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia.
The miner launched its first LEV in June and plans to introduce a second vehicle in the coming months. The LEV, which looks similar to a traditional Land Cruiser or ute, joins a fleet of 240 light vehicles at the site.
BHP will collect data on the vehicles’ performance, power supply, maintenance requirements, charging time and corrosion resistance underground during the trial.
“Importantly, as they are battery-powered, our team’s exposure to the diesel particular matter generated by traditional diesel engines is significantly reduced,” according to BHP.
The company has introduced the LEVs as part of a broader initiative to reduced employee exposure to particulate matter by 50 per cent.
“Olympic Dam’s switch to LEVs in its operations will reduce emissions, exposure and costs – as well as influencing the rollout of similar initiatives in our other locations,” the company added.
“Our Olympic Dam site in South Australia is one of the largest underground copper mines in the world and our investment there in light electric vehicles, powered by lithium ion batteries, is good news for our people and the planet.”
BHP will make a decision on wider deployment at Olympic Dam during the 2019 financial year.