Rio Tinto mine goes full renewable

June 7, 2023
Converting its U.S. Borax mine in Boron, California

Neste has partnered with Rio Tinto to help the mining company transition its heavy equipment from fossil diesel to renewable diesel at its U.S. Borax mine in Boron, California.

Rio Tinto conducted a trial in 2022 in which it switched from fossil diesel to renewable in a haul truck in partnership with Neste and Rolls-Royce. Rio Tinto used Neste MY Renewable Diesel for the trial. Made from sustainably sourced, 100-percent renewable raw materials such as used cooking oil and animal fat waste, the renewable diesel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75 percent over its life cycle compared to fossil diesel, according to Neste. Results from the trial showed that a haul truck powered by Rolls-Royce engines running on Neste renewable diesel delivered similar performance and reliability as trucks running on fossil diesel.   

Read also: Renewable diesel holds promise for fleet sustainability

Based on these positive results, Rio Tinto U.S. Borax continued to work with Rolls-Royce, Neste, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the State of California to fully transition its heavy machinery fleet at the mine in Boron to renewable diesel at the end of May 2023. This transition includes all the heavy equipment on the property from haul trucks to loaders and even blasting equipment.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty industries, like mining, has been a challenge, but our partnership demonstrates renewable diesel can keep the industry’s heavy equipment running with a smaller carbon footprint while delivering the same reliability and performance,” said Carrie Song, VP, renewable road transportation Americas at Neste, in a statement.

Read also: Caterpillar, Rio Tinto partner for autonomous equipment

Said Sinead Kaufman, chief executive, minerals, Rio Tinto:

“This is an excellent example of what happens when internal and external partners collaborate toward a carbon reduction goal. The transition at Boron is an important first step and will undoubtedly lead to further opportunities to decarbonize our global operations. Renewable diesel is one of several sustainability solutions that Rio Tinto is using to transform its businesses.”

Source: Neste

About the Author

Rod Sutton

Sutton has served as the editorial lead of Construction Equipment magazine and since 2001. 

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