MELBOURNE, Nov 24 (Reuters) - The mining industry is making progress on the introduction of a zero carbon truck fleet by 2040, bringing in new partners as it strives to drive down emissions, the head of the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) said on Tuesday.
The initiative, announced two years ago, aims to minimise diesel exhaust and introduce vehicle collision avoidance technology by 2025, and hopes to see greenhouse gas emission-free surface mining vehicles used widely by 2040.
The programme is backed by 27 of world's biggest miners including BHP Group and 18 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Caterpillar, up from 11 OEMS two years ago, ICMM Chief Executive Tom Butler said.
"It's proved a great vehicle for tackling climate change. Investors have been putting a lot of pressure on our members to accelerate (cuts) wherever they can," he told Reuters.
Mining truck fleets are typically diesel powered and represent about a third of miners' greenhouse gas emissions.
Across its members, emissions from large vehicles were responsible for 68 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, Butler said.
ICMM members, who represent around 30% of the global metals market, have now reviewed more than 650 individual mines to assess what's needed to reach the programme's goals.
Next year, they will look at integrating the initiative into corporate planning processes, allocating resources, and collaboration among members, Butler said.
"2040 is the aspiration and that date was set through consultation with experts within the membership. We wanted to set something that is realistic ... I'm optimistic that we should be able to get there a little bit earlier."
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Richard Pullin)