R1700 XE Underground Loader
R1700 XE Underground Loader


Governments and regulatory agencies mandate that you establish and follow environmentally sound policies and practices as you meet the demand for mined materials. We’re focused on doing our part to make sure our machines help you meet those regulations. Every piece of Cat equipment is designed to be better and do better. Because the better we mine, the better the world can be.  

Lowering Emissions

One of the most prominent issues in the mining industry today is finding ways to reduce fuel and hydrocarbon usage and generate fewer exhaust, noise and heat emissions. Emissions present an additional challenge for underground mines. Ventilating a mine located hundreds of meters underground is both difficult and costly — but it is necessary to ensure that people can work safely and comfortably, keeping air quality and temperatures suitable for all personnel and equipment. At the same time, underground mines must comply with ever-expanding regulations to limit carbon emissions.


One of the most effective solutions Caterpillar offers for lowering emissions is EU Stage V compliant engines. Stage V emissions packages are available for several Cat underground hard rock loading and hauling machines.

Emissions controls start inside the engine, where air circulation, high-pressure fuel injection, reduced particle size and pre-ignition injections — as well as a NOx reduction system (NRS) — play a part in reducing emissions.

Complementing these engine controls is the Cat Clean Emissions Module (CEM), an aftertreatment solution that includes a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst and a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). The CEM system also uses diesel exhaust fluid to further reduce NOx emissions.

AD63 underground truck


Ventilation in the underground environment makes up a large percentage of a mine’s operating cost. Caterpillar is committed to supplying hard rock underground loaders and trucks with engine packages that minimize the level of ventilation required.

The level of diesel particulate matter (DPM) in the underground environment is always carefully managed by miners in order to meet regional regulatory standards and make the underground environment safer for workers.

Cat Ventilation Reduction (VR) engines reduce DPM at the source. They utilize selective engine hardware and software to lower DPM while maintaining low overall emission levels during the engine combustion process.

Selecting VR as a factory option or upgrading an existing engine in the field has multiple performance improvements and cost-saving incentives. Key advantages include:

  • Significant Ventilation Rate reduction
  • Significant DPM reduction
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Maintained or improved machine performance
  • Fuel quality flexibility (ability to use higher sulfur fuels – non DPF only)
  • Compatibility with DPF aftertreatment systems 



Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) are the preferred DPM reduction technology for the most demanding underground machine applications. Caterpillar has developed two types of specifically tuned DPFs that can be fitted to Cat VR engines to further reduce diesel particulate matter output without any impact on machine performance.

  • A Flow Through DPF delivers a greater than 50 percent DPM reduction in the exhaust and it does not accumulate particulates or ash. The Flow Through DPF requires no maintenance or backpressure monitor.
  • A Wall Flow DPF is offered for those operations wanting additional DPM reduction over the Flow Through Filter. These filters can reduce particulates more than 98%.

These filters are available as retrofit kits and are integrated with the machine’s health monitoring systems. 




Another way to reduce or even eliminate diesel emissions in the underground environment is to use an alternative source of power for mining machines — like electricity. Caterpillar has a strong focus on electrification and continues to grow our portfolio of electrified underground mining machines.

Our first battery-powered underground machine — the new R1700 XE — is a zero-exhaust-emission loader that delivers the same productivity as its mechanical drive counterpart. It’s charged by the Cat MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger and can be charged in less than 20 minutes when using two chargers in tandem.


R1700 XE
Reducing Waste

Reducing waste is another way we support sustainability initiatives. In addition to taking steps to reduce waste in our own facilities, we reduce waste by rebuilding and reusing machines and components and providing retrofit solutions that allow our customers to get more from the products they already own. In the process, we’re conserving energy, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing the need for raw materials.

Rebuilding, Remanufacturing and Recycling

We rebuild and remanufacture parts, components and complete machines to increase the lifespan of equipment. Beyond being a cost-effective solution, it’s also a sustainable one. These solutions allow us to reuse instead of discard, conserve energy, reduce waste, keep nonrenewable resources in circulation for multiple lifetimes and minimize the need for new raw materials.
Rebuilding is also the perfect opportunity to incorporate updated emission controls and take new steps toward improving air quality inside the mine.

Retrofits and Upgrades

Retrofits and upgrades enhance and improve older machines to incorporate efficiency improvements and emission reductions, and to keep them in production longer to conserve energy, lower emissions and minimize the need for raw materials.

 Increased Maintenance Intervals and Longer Life

We’ve increased maintenance intervals and extended the life of consumables to decrease the amount of waste contributed to the environment. Individually, these changes may seem small — but they can have a big impact on the environment. These savings are seen not only in the reduction of hydrocarbons (fluids) but also in a reduction of the “hard” parts, such as filters and other parts and components.

Increasing Machine Efficiency

Maximizing the efficiency of traditional power systems reduces fuel usage and leads to fewer emissions. We’ve made advancements in overall fuel economy for diesel-powered machines, such as reducing machine weight to optimize payload and increasing speed to reduce cycle times. We also offer diesel-electric machines like the new R2900 XE LHD that operate more efficiently in some applications, so they burn less fuel. Diesel-electric engines also serve as a building block for a future transition to battery-electric power.

Watch Video

R2900 XE Loader


Technology solutions deliver significant benefits across the mining operation, from boosting safety and productivity to more consistent and efficient operations. The result is also a decrease in fuel burn and resulting diesel emissions.

Learn More

Autonomy and Automation Solutions

Autonomy and automation can have a significant impact on sustainability. Caterpillar offers an autonomy solution that makes it possible to run LHDs remotely — from simple line-of-sight to full autonomy. Autonomous operations eliminate inefficiencies and enable higher machine utilization, for reductions in idle time and less wasted fuel. They also eliminate the variability that may exist in a staffed operation, which creates the consistency that will be essential as mines transition to new energy sources such as batteries. Autonomy is a critical enabler to unlocking the value of electrified machines.

Fleet Management Solutions

Fleet management systems dispatch algorithms that result in less idle time and reduced bunching at the loading site for a decrease in emissions and a reduction in greenhouse gases per ton.

Machine Health Solutions

Health solutions incorporate machine health information and data analytics to maximize the equipment lifecycle. Managing the health of every asset ensures top performance that can lead to lower emissions. It also helps extend the life of consumables to decrease the amount of waste contributed to the environment.

AutoDig and Traction Control

AutoDig offers predictable, repeatable performance while also reducing operator fatigue. Newer models even include a Return to Dig function that moves the bucket back to ground level and dumps it to a preselected angle, allowing operators to accomplish more with less work.

Watch Video 

Traction control increases tire life and reducts waste. The combination of Autodig and traction control can significantly reduce costs and allows new an experienced operators to perform at a higher level.




Get the latest news from Caterpillar mining delivered right to your inbox.

Get Connected


We’re excited to offer a webinar series that helps us share the many ways we can mine better — together. 

Learn More


Learn about how we're working with our customers to improve operations, drive down costs and keep people safe in Viewpoint, part of the Cat blog.

Get Connected

Product and Service Announcements 

See the latest product and service announcements from Caterpillar Mining.

Learn More