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Fortescue chief executive officer Dino Otranto said that rising fuel prices have increased the competitiveness of electric vehicles, and the mining industry is currently applying the lessons learnt to other sectors.

The major miner executive told the the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) opening plenary session that diesel offsets have been greater than anyone could have predicted.

“The DC-DC charging station was the innovation breakthrough required to charge haulage trucks in under 20 minutes, which is something the motor racing industry has been doing for years,” Otranto said.

In a similar vein, it was announced by climate firm CoolPlanet that thousands of electric four-wheel drive vehicles equipped with smart software could enter the Australian mining sector soon, as part of a deal between CoolPlanet and Climatech Zero, two climate firms.

By CoolPlanet extending its partnership with Climatech Zero, both firms will offer electrified Toyota LandCruisers to the mining industry. Both companies expect more than 6000 low-emission vehicles to be in use by 2026.

CoolPlanet chairman Norman Crowley said the vehicles can play an important role in cutting carbon emissions from mining, as well as protecting workers.

“Mines will be able to eliminate diesel particulate matter and maximise vehicle safety,” he said.

Besides mining electrification, artificial intelligence (AI) was celebrated by mining leaders.

Worley principal mine electrification and technology Paul Lucey said there are more than 16,500 haulage trucks in Australia, but their productivity is hindered by their outdated design, their suitability to tasks that need performing, and human intervention.

“We have effectively pulled apart dozens of haulage trucks and assessed every component for their efficiency. We have found there is up to 20 per cent parasitic load – that is, components that don’t really do anything but add weight and create a drag on performance,” he said.