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Rio Tinto, BHP to collaborate on electric haul truck trials in Pilbara

(Reuters) - Top Australian miners Rio Tinto and BHP Group will work together for testing large battery-operated electric haul truck technology in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, Rio Tinto said on Monday.

Rio and BHP, which are targeting to achieve net zero operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, will work with manufacturers Caterpillar and Komatsu to conduct independent trials of their battery-electric haul trucks, Rio said in a statement.

The trials will be undertaken to assess performance and productivity in the Pilbara environment and represent the first stage of electric haul truck testing at BHP and Rio's Pilbara operations.

Two Cat 793 haul trucks will be trialled from the second half of 2024, and two Komatsu 930 haul trucks will be tested from 2026 under the collaboration.

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"As we work to repower our Pilbara operations with renewable energy, collaborations like this move us closer to solving the shared challenge of decarbonising our operations, and meeting our net zero commitments," Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Simon Trott said.

(Reporting by John Biju in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Subhranshu Sahu)