WA’s first electric hybrid wheel loader arrives at Onslow iron project

(Image source: Mineral Resources) Komatsu E1850-3 electric hybrid wheel loader.
(Image source: Mineral Resources) Komatsu E1850-3 electric hybrid wheel loader.

WA’s first electric hybrid wheel loader has arrived on site at Mineral Resources’ (ASX: MIN) Onslow iron project.

The hybrid loader, which is set to undertake load and haul activities at the project, features the full regenerative SR hybrid drive system which feeds power back into the kinetic energy storage system during braking or retarding.

This process helps deliver up to 45% less fuel consumption than comparably sized mechanical drive wheel loaders.

Loader fit out was completed at the Komatsu workshop in Welshpool with CSI Mining Services, a subsidiary of Mineral Resources, constructing the loader bucket.

The loader was then transported to the Ken’s Bore mine site by a 13-line platform and trucks spanning a combined length of 55m.

Mineral Resources executive general manager asset management Dale Blyth says the Komatsu E1850-3 is the biggest loader the company has acquired.

“MinRes is committed to investing in the latest technology to power our transition to net-zero operations, while still achieving operational efficiencies,” he said.

“Our new Komatsu wheel loader does exactly that, producing substantially less carbon emissions compared to mechanical drives while still delivering higher payloads.”

The Onslow iron project is one of the largest iron ore projects in Australia and is set to redefine mining in WA. It is forecast to ship around 35Mtpa of iron ore with an expected mine life of more than 30 years.

As part of achieving net zero operational emission by 2050, Mineral Resources will displace diesel with alternative fuels, renewable solar power generation, energy storage and electrification of mobile equipment and transport at Onslow.

Additionally, road train batteries will be charged with renewable solar and gas-fired energy while greener mining fleets options are examined.