The world’s first underground mining truck with a dump box made from fossil-free steel.
The world’s first underground mining truck with a dump box made from fossil-free steel.

Breaking new ground in sustainable mining with fossil-free steel

With help from SSAB, mining equipment manufacturer Epiroc has developed the world’s first underground mining truck with a dump box made from fossil-free steel. It marks another important step in its ambition to help the mining and construction industries make a transition to a carbon-neutral future.

The whole mining industry is under increasing pressure to reduce its carbon emissions and align with the Paris Agreement’s targets, which is creating demand for more sustainable mining equipment and machinery.

“Our customers want to be more sustainable, both to be more socially responsible and to meet legal requirements when it comes to carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions,” says Carin Bergendorff, Vice President Operations, Epiroc. “We want to work hand-in-hand with our customers and support them in that journey, as well as meet our own ambitious sustainability targets.”

Watch the video about why the partnership was initiated.

Currently, Epiroc offers a range of battery-electric products which deliver the same – if not better performance than their diesel-powered equivalents while eliminating all emissions. The ambition is to offer a full range of emissions-free products for underground mining by 2025, and for surface operations by 2030.

Epiroc’s most sustainable mining truck yet

For its latest prototype of the battery electric Minetruck MT42, Epiroc has taken its efforts a step further by manufacturing its dump box with SSAB’s fossil-free steel. This means that not only does the vehicle offer zero-emission operations (provided renewable energy is available for charging), but also generates significantly lower emissions when it is produced.

“After product use, our second largest source of emissions is from our supplier side, and around 50 percent of those emissions come from steel and weldments purchased to produce our products,” says Carin. “Our target is to reduce CO2e emissions from our relevant suppliers by 50 percent by 2030. We will not be able to reach this target unless we find a solution for our steel emissions, and that is why we have entered into this partnership with SSAB.”

Fossil-free steel provides a competitive edge

In developing the new prototype, Epiroc worked in close collaboration with SSAB, who manufactured the fossil-free steel using the new HYBRIT® technology. The process involves replacing the coke coal traditionally used in iron-ore based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The result is steel that is manufactured with virtually no carbon footprint.

The Minetruck MT42 is the first prototype from Epiroc to use fossil-free steel, but along with battery-electric vehicles, the company sees huge potential for combining the two technologies to create the mining equipment of the future.

“Steel and weldments alone accounts for at least 5-6% of our scope 3 emissions, so if we could make a transition to fossil-free steel, it would take us a long way towards fulfilling our commitments towards the Paris Agreement and reaching our targets,” says Carin. “It would also help our customers and give us a huge competitive edge in the market too.”

We will not be able to reach this target unless we find a solution for our steel emissions.

  • Around 11 percent of Epiroc’s total CO2e emissions come from its suppliers, and about half of that comes from the steel and weldments purchased to produce its products.
  • Epiroc’s Minetruck MT42 SG can haul material faster than its diesel-powered equivalent but with the added benefit of zero emissions during operation.
    With a fossil-free steel dump box, the CO2e savings are the equivalent of taking five gasoline cars of the road for one year.
  • Epiroc’s reduction target to halve absolute CO2e emissions in its own operations and from the use of sold products by 2030, is validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which means that these goals are aligned to keep global warming at a maximum of 1.5° C.

volvo vehicle

The future is here – the world’s first vehicle made with fossil-free steel

In a world-first, Volvo Group has unveiled the first vehicle made of SSAB’s fossil-free steel. A load carrier for use in mining and quarrying represents the first leg of the journey towards a decarbonized future.

man in front of loading trailer

Why fossil-free steel is the future of heavy transport

Globalization and free trade have rapidly transformed the way we live, work, and do business. Supply chains and transportation networks that criss-cross the globe have enabled great improvements in standards of living.