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PHOTO CAPTION: Early engineering illustration of Ballard Fuel Cell-powered mining locomotive

First Fuel Cell-powered Mining Locomotive Begins Testing

Anglo American Platinum will test five of the hydrogen-fueled locomotives in its Amplats mines in South Africa.

Published: 12-May-2012

> Johannesburg, South Africa -- Anglo American Platinum ? the world's top producer of the precious metal ? has launched what is said to be the first fuel cell-powered mining locomotive, showing the technology's potential as a clean energy source.

Reuters reports that the prototype ? quiet, blue in colour and with the sharp angles of a Lego toy ? is one of five fuel cell locomotives that will be tested for underground use at one of Amplats' mines.

Amplats' interest in fuel cells lies in their potential to boost demand for platinum, used as a catalyst in the cells. Some 1.5oz (42g) of the precious metal were used in the prototype locomotive, one of the partners in the project said.

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