Mining accounts for 4% to 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions according to consultancy McKinsey. Carbon-intensive mining is under pressure to drive sustainability through innovation. World Bank has stated that meeting the Paris Agreement targets, will require ambitious climate action for a large-scale transition to clean energy which will drive significant demand for minerals. The sustainability drive in mining can be met through innovation and some of these actions make it attainable: 

  • Equipment, technology and data solutions to improve sustainability practices.
  • Improving energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions
  • Leveraging new technologies to drive sustainability.
  • Increase use of renewables to reduce energy costs.
  • Long term planning for the future. 

Global Road Technology’s discussion highlights where clean energy meets sustainability in mining, and how GRT’s innovation drives sustainability in mining and the future direction for haul trucks.

Where clean energy meets sustainability

The focus in today’s world is on what is being produced and less of how it is produced. One global leader wrote, 

“Sustainability is an obligation, not an option”.

Recently the Palaszczuk government announced that Gladstone is set to become Queensland’s green energy manufacturing centre. The partnership with leading renewable energy and hydrogen company Fortescue Future Industries will see the world’s largest hydrogen equipment manufacturing facility built in Aldoga, west of Gladstone. The four-hectare site will create 30 jobs and up to 65 operational jobs, and will be up and running by early 2023, with construction starting early 2022. Hydrogen will help alleviate Australia’s carbon footprint when combined with renewables. It will be an integral part of a renewable landscape and the critical part will be ensuring the right technology is used for the appropriate application especially in mining. Decarbonization and renewable technologies are integral to net zero by 2050, and Queensland is positioned to play a critical role in global conversations around renewable hydrogen technologies. The key drivers impacting the green hydrogen market are the growing environmental concerns regarding increasing carbon emissions from fossil fuel usage and the rising green hydrogen installation globally based on supportive polices and regulations. 

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Where GRT meets sustainability through innovation in mining

As an agile company, we keep iterating to drive sustainability in mining through innovation. Haul roads generate bulk dust in mining operations and to meet legislative workplace health and safety regulations there is a consistent need to suppress the dust. Traditionally, mining sites use water trucks to suppress the dust. There are several challenges to using water for dust suppression. On introducing GRT Haul-Loc to the existing spraying equipment the longevity of dust suppression is unmatched compared to using water alone. Operationally that means use of less diesel trucks per required haul road stretch to achieve dust control. In essence, using GRT Haul-Loc offers reduced carbon dioxide emissions because of less movement of dust suppression trucks, which contributes to sustainability through innovation in mining. GRT offers haul road dust suppression that improves operational efficiency whilst contributing to sustainability of the mining operations. 

Haul trucks driving sustainability in mining

Haul trucks can be designed to carry more than 200 tons per load, and they are usually run-on diesel. Developing a green fleet is key to achieving next zero emissions. June 2023 has been marked by the Fortescue Metals Group to decarbonize their truck fleet as they are designing and building a hydrogen-powered haul truck. BHP Group partnered with Caterpillar to develop zero-emissions mining trucks with a focus on battery-powered vehicles and not ruling out exploration of hydrogen technologies. The BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) joint-venture autonomous haulage team recently delivered another Australian mining innovation step with the first material loaded into retrofitted Komatsu 930E-5 autonomous trucks at Goonyella Riverside coking coal mine in central Queensland’s Bowen Basin. Increase in productivity and a safe working environment including 80% expected less significant truck events and reduction in injuries and illnesses related to load and haul operations. Enhancing sustainability and competitiveness has been the main agenda since the inception of the automation plans.


The mining industry faces greater pressure than ever as investors home in on environmental, social and governance issues. The European Union plans a carbon tax on imports from countries that are not doing enough to reduce their environmental impact. Analysis shows that Australian miners will not be competitive to sell their product in Europe unless swift action is taken to drive sustainability in mining through innovation. Industry must lead and drive these changes in practice, regardless of the legislative framework in order for Australia to remain competitive in the worldwide market.

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