The demand for low emissions technology has been driving trends and innovation in mining — recently in Australia, we’ve seen a spike in exploration for metals such as copper that can be used in sustainable technology such as electric cars and solar panels, alongside a slowing down of coal exploration.

Today, it was announced that BHP (ASX: BHP) and Caterpillar have partnered to develop zero-emissions mining trucks, following months of collaboration with the goal of addressing BHP’s energy demands.

BHP is promised early access to zero-emissions equipment developed by Caterpillar, and hands-on learning opportunities to ensure successful implementation at BHP sites. BHP and Caterpillar’s collaboration will help shape the processes, technology and infrastructure that will be required to support zero-emissions machines and the mine sites of the future.

BHP’s chief commercial officer Vandita Pant said this partnership was a crucial step for both companies in meeting their shared sustainability goals.

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with Caterpillar to develop and deploy zero-emissions mining trucks at BHP. Climate change is a critical global challenge, and we know that partnering with others will help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.” Mrs Pant said.

BHP intends for their frontline operators and maintainers to give input into the design, development and implementation of the trucks to ensure they are best suited to the workforce who will keep them running. Critically, the companies will also work together in the coming years to encourage workplace inclusivity and accessibility.

“The opportunity for our teams to input into the design process also gives us confidence that the trucks will be safer and easier to operate for a workforce that’s more diverse than ever,” Mrs Pant said.

Caterpillar has put its weight into other sustainable innovations, with the Cat® 3512E Tier 4 Dynamic Gas Blending™ engine system winning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s  2020 Clean Air Excellence Award, in the Clean Air Technology category.

Denise Johnson, Caterpillar Group’s president, said collaborations like the one with BHP were important for the future development of the industry, and the protection of the environment.

“Caterpillar is pleased to work with BHP on the next generation of large mining trucks and mine site technology. Deeply integrating our teams and timelines will allow for faster deployment to deliver zero-emissions solutions.”