A big Tasmanian manufacturer wants a slice of global mining's green revolution.
Elphinstone Pty Ltd plans to develop battery electric underground mining vehicles as miners aim to cut carbon dioxide emissions, including through phasing out diesel-powered vehicles.
The battery electric units would be made at Elphinstone's facilities in Tasmania's North-West and are expected to protect and potentially grow employment.
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The industry and mining equipment manufacturers are increasingly moving in that direction, and Elphinstone believes it needs to develop such vehicles if it is to keep and add to its markets.
Elphinstone Group executive director Kelly Elphinstone said one of its biggest markets, Canada, would not accept diesel powered underground mining vehicles within a couple of years.
"It won't be long before Australia is following suit," she said.
" ... if we don't do this, we won't be able to sustain jobs at all."
It is not yet known how many jobs the new project can create.
"It means we can continue to provide jobs in this region," Mrs Elphinstone said.
"It means new skills and new opportunities for young kids ..."
She said it was a three-year project and there would be some recruiting for the project team.
The project started in July.
The federal government will contribute $5.17 million to the $10 million project through the integration stream of its Modern Manufacturing Initiative.
According to the government, the funding scheme "supports projects that integrate Australian businesses into domestic and international value chains, propelling their goods and services into new markets".
"It provides co-funding to encourage linkages between local businesses and domestic and international firms, increasing scale, supply capacity and the ability to innovate."
Braddon Liberal MHR Gavin Pearce said the government believed the project was a smart investment from a smart company.
"The mining sector recognises they need to keep that focus on the environment ... at the centre of what they do," he said.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the project was "a fantastic innovation".
Elphinstone Pty Ltd is a manufacturing subsidiary of the Elphinstone Group, founded magnate Dale Elphinstone.
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