ISO 9001:2015, AS9100D & ISO 27001
Dassault Systèmes
official partner
MEMKO Head Office
L28 303 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC
Call Us

Accelerate Electrification of Mining Operations Using Systems Engineering

MEMKO > Knowledge Hub > Accelerate Electrification of Mining Operations Using Systems Engineering

Mining companies have committed to 30% decarbonisation by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. Research by McKinsey & Company indicates that the mining industry accounts for up to 7% of all GHG emissions. Diesel-powered vehicles currently account for 30% of direct emissions at mine sites, which translates into an immediate opportunity for the electrification of vehicles. Each year, Australian mining operations use 1,500 million litres of diesel in over 1,000 mobile assets. Over half of this is used in haul truck fleets and electrification of these trucks is the preferred pathway to eliminate the industry’s reliance on diesel. 

Mining is already moving towards green energy production and supply arrangements. This transition is going to become increasingly complicated as more operations electrify. The electrification will significantly increase the overall energy consumption of mine sites and require capital investment for necessary infrastructure. Furthermore, integration and interoperability of required systems provide a considerable risk to reliable and safe mining operations. There are many parts of the electrification puzzle, which has resulted in mining companies delaying the adoption of the technology solutions required. The technology evolution in battery storage technologies alone is a significant risk to any transition plan. 

The Current Problem

Several OEMs have developed new technologies such as battery systems, Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and charging systems that are ready for industrial adoption. Recently I (Ravi) attended The Electric Mine 2024 Conference held in Perth and came across many of these novel innovations to replace fossil fuel-based fleets. In my perspective, most of them are waiting for pilot/field trials and have received a lot of interest from mining companies. In fact, some of these mining companies have started their collaborative initiatives in developing the vehicles and necessary technologies. The technologies will keep evolving and should not constrain the adoption by customers. For example, in the passenger car segment customers are already waiting for the hydrogen car instead of electric vehicles.  


Companies are struggling to make decisions on the fleet type due to a lack of relevant and evidence-based information.  In this case, the decision-making process of a BEV transition is more complicated than it looks. It can be a highly complex and interdisciplinary process that extends across engineering, finance, operations, environment etc. To achieve a net zero emissions goal by 2030, a significant capital investment for infrastructure improvement projects, change management and technology readiness is required. In addition, the time-bound actions should guarantee a high probability success rate for any such decision. This is the key problem area – the lack of a decision support system based on critical data inputs.  If each vehicle is going for field trials, it will be too late to meet the net zero goals of 2030.   

Mining Electrification Problem and Solution

Do we know which vehicle will be the right fit? I do not think there is a straight answer to these questions. The requirements of each mining site will be different and include other variables – commodity, size, mine plan and schedule etc.  We cannot undertake the traditional approach of field trials of some vehicles to arrive at a conclusion. This requires a different approach and one which is flexible, expandable, agile, and scalable.  The approach needs to help mining companies make decisions on the right configuration of vehicles to meet the site requirements.  In fact, the requirements will keep evolving as you integrate more systems into the operations and should be considered in the early phase of design.  Hence, this is a complex problem which requires a systems approach.  

Systems Approach - Why and How?

In simple words, a systems approach is a methodological approach to understanding and solving complex and multi-disciplinary problems. In theory for this case, we are moving away from document-based requirements to model-based requirements due to changing the dynamics of original requirements. Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is a well-known methodology adopted by other industries such as Aerospace, Automotive and Defence. The MBSE approach uses modelling to define the system, its requirements/capabilities, behaviour, architecture/structure and the verification and validation of the system. The key benefit of using a Model-Based approach is the ability to interrogate the model and develop a deeper understanding of your system (or system of systems) of interest. This is not a new technology and has been applied in industry since it was first coined in the early 1940s at Bell Telephone Laboratories 


In the context of our problem statement, it is possible to use the current mining companies’ dataset about mine operations using mine planning, mine design, mining schedule, and vehicle datasets to develop the mine system. Using behavioural modelling, the vehicle’s performance can be digitally analysed. The combination of the two tools will allow the user group to develop a virtual simulation to evaluate the performance of the vehicle fleet configuration within the context of the mine system. This representation of the current operation will be used to define the future requirements. The latter will guide the user group to operate the virtual model with BEV or Hybrid vehicles to derive data against various KPIs necessary for decision-making.   


The simulation will be run in the loop to generate insights for decision-makers about the right vehicle type based on defined performance criteria, charging infrastructure and even battery performances within specific operation conditions.  This is illustrated in the picture below:   

Model in the Loop Simulation Solution

Benefits of a Systems Approach

The potential benefits of the proposed solution approach based on systems thinking are: 

  • Regulatory Compliance – net zero goals. 
  • Risk Mitigation for effective decision-making. 
  • Timely execution of projects for decarbonisation. 
  • Operational optimisation of assets. 
  • Efficient Capital Planning; and  
  • Validated ROI-linked roadmap for decarbonisation. 

The solution is scalable and flexible to integrate other systems and expand across other site operations. The immediate benefit also includes fast-tracking virtual trials and reductions in the field trial period to validate the performance against the required criteria. It also allows prospective miners and OEMs to collaborate to optimise the performance metrics for set requirements for different site operations.  

The proposed solution can be a decision support system for all stakeholders engaged within the mining company. It also helps to virtually validate the chosen solution performance against all the necessary set criteria for net zero. The ability to scale up and further integrate with other operations enables continuous roadmap development.  

MEMKO Offering

Expertise in systems engineering and industry-standard toolkits allows MEMKO to bundle the systems approach solution for prospective customers in the mining sector. The challenge associated with the problem is broken down into simple elements of an ASSESS-VALIDATE-DEPLOY methodology. MEMKO is in a unique position to offer the solution as a Software as a Service subscription (SAAS), solution development partnership and solution deployment on-site. MEMKO also has standardised the learning pathway for prospective professionals to learn and adopt the tools, providing short courses for executives and training for large groups to help with systems engineering deployment. 

In Summary

In summary, other industries have been successfully developing a decarbonisation roadmap leveraging systems thinking. All industry sectors have common problems associated with this transition around stakeholder collaboration, technology development, capital investment, skilled workforce and change management. The best practices should be shared and leveraged across the industry to accelerate the decarbonisation initiative. MEMKO is always at the forefront of solutions for industry-relevant problems leveraging both engineering and off-the-shelf technologies. Whatever stage you are at in your mining electrification journey, we can help you get to where you want to be. Contact us for more information on the systems approach to mining electrification and to speak to one of our experts. 

About the Author: Ravi Jain

General Manager of MEMKO Systems

Ravi Jain, a qualified materials engineer and metallurgist graduated from IIT Bombay. He holds an MBA from Bond University and a Certificate in Applied Finance from QUT. He is currently the General Manager of MEMKO Systems based in Melbourne. Ravi is a passionate technocrat, helping enterprise customers formulate transformative strategies and adopt innovative technologies to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. He has led the market development for novel technologies both for MNCs and emerging start-ups. During his 18+yr career, he has worked across Defence, Mining and O&G verticals within Australia, APAC and EMEA territory.  He has a deep understanding of engineering and manufacturing processes for these Industry verticals. In addition, he brings extensive knowledge about technologies in the field of OT/IT integration, 3D Visualisation, process automation, data analytics and PLM software. 

Nicholas McKenzie

About the Author: Nicholas McKenzie

PLM Engineer

Nicholas McKenzie is a PLM engineer with expertise in Digital Engineering technologies. He has experience implementing and utilising industry 4.0 technologies ranging from Production System simulation, Digital Twins, Advanced Planning and Scheduling tools and Engineered for Manufacturing Digital Thread. 

For more information on mining electrification

Contact us for demo enquiries on mining electrification using a systems approach