Cummins Westport Inc. plans to join in a low-emissions natural gas-powered mine truck study with Placer Dome Technical Services Limited, Komatsu Mining Systems Inc., Cortez Joint Venture and ENRG.
The immediate goal of the study is to establish, by mid-year, the feasibility of testing a natural gas-powered mine truck at the Cortez Joint Venture's gold mine in Nevada.
The companies stressed, however that site permits and project funding are needed before an actual vehicle demonstration project can begin. The ultimate goal is to develop natural gas mining products, based on the Cummins QSK diesel engine platform, that meet future U.S. and global low-emissions standards for mining while retaining the performance of diesel engines.
Placer Dome Technical Services, a division of Placer Dome of Vancouver, will help evaluate the feasibility of using natural gas products in mines. Komatsu Mining Systems, a unit of Komatsu of Tokyo, will evaluate the potential for natural gas in Komatsu's ultra-class truck, the 930E-2, which has a payload capacity of 320 tons.
Cummins Westport is a joint venture of diesel engine maker Cummins of Columbus, IN, and Westport Innovations of Vancouver, BC.