Fleet Management

Hitachi and ABB Together To Develop an Engineless, Full Battery Dump Truck

Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. and First Quantum Minerals Ltd have announced that they have entered into a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) to advance the development of sustainable mining solutions at First Quantum’s flagship mining operations in Zambia.

Hitachi is supplying the first of its full battery, rigid frame dump trucks fitted with an ABB battery, on-board charger and associated infrastructure by the end of FY2023 for technological feasibility trials at First Quantum’s Kansanshi copper-gold mine operations.

Overhead power lines

The Kansanshi mine is ideally suited to these trials due to its existing trolley assist systems, which align with development of battery dump trucks. First Quantum currently operates 41 Hitachi Construction Machinery (diesel) trolley trucks at Kansanshi, meaning much of the required infrastructure for the battery dump truck is already in place.

Developed in collaboration with ABB, Hitachi Construction Machinery’s battery dump truck utilises on-board energy storage and trolley systems to generate power. Via a pantograph, the battery dump truck connects to overhead power lines, drawing power to allow the truck to run. 

Proven technology

At the same time, the generated energy is used to charge the battery system. This is separate from the regenerated power from the retarder braking system which will generate a high level of charge during haul road descent.

Applying a proven technology from its current trolley truck system to the battery dump truck has allowed Hitachi Construction Machinery to expedite the development of its product to market. The retrofittable system design is also an added advantage, allowing current diesel truck fleets to be converted in the future to utilise the battery system, offering scalable fleet capability, minimal operational impact and greater value for customers such as First Quantum.

The fleet

First Quantum’s fleet of Hitachi Construction Machinery equipment includes 39 EH3500ACII and two EH3500AC-3 rigid dump trucks across its mining operations in Zambia, as well as several construction-sized machinery across global operations. 

A further 40 EH4000AC-3 dump trucks equipped with the latest HCM/Bradken robust tray designs are on order for first delivery to Kansanshi in 2023, to support its S3 expansion project as it’s scaled up. 

Six new EX5600-7E (electric) excavators equipped with Bradken Eclipse buckets and incorporating loss tooth detection technology are also to be supplied, demonstrating the company’s long-term commitment to reducing GHG emissions across its operations.

In-pit crushing and conveying

“Together with in-pit crushing and conveying and electric drilling, First Quantum saves an estimated 100,000 tonnes of CO2 a year across our Zambian operations, while delivering improved productivity, cost savings and health and safety benefits.

“In collaborating with Hitachi Construction Machinery on battery dump trucks, we look forward to the next phase of pit electrification as we seek to further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in line with our target of a 50% reduction by 2030,” comments John Gregory, Director of Mining for First Quantum Minerals.


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