SMT Scharf AG has received its first order from Russian gold and silver producer Polymetal International PLC. The order is worth more than EUR 4 million in total. SMT Scharf will develop and produce battery-electric powered load-haul-dump machines (LHDs) and mid-range underground trucks as prototypes for Polymetal International. These are to be delivered to the company by October 2021. The vehicles ordered will be deployed for underground gold mining in Russia and will be tested there as a basis for further vehicle deliveries of the same type.
Hans Joachim Theiss, CEO of SMT Scharf AG, comments: “Cutting greenhouse gases and the associated improvement of working conditions underground is becoming an increasingly important factor in underground mining. Mine operators are giving intensive consideration to the idea of converting their fleets to electric. We are pleased to announce that next year we will deliver the first underground electric vehicles to Polymetal International, and that our strategic partnership with Polymetal is beginning to bear fruit. Our aim is to establish SMT Scharf in an even stronger position in the market for electrically powered vehicles for underground mining. To this end, we will continue to progress the development of electric- powered commercial vehicles, among other products, as part of our partnership with Polymetal.”
In the third quarter of 2020, SMT Scharf entered into a strategic partnership with Polymetal International to develop underground electric vehicles (EVs). The partnership focuses on the joint development, implementation and testing of emission-free battery EVs. Following tests of the current vehicles, elements of the collaboration planned for the future include further deliveries, new designs and, potentially, the signing of distribution agreements. The partnership is currently concentrated on mid-range underground LHDs and trucks. In the long term, the partnership could be extended to include other utility vehicles. The strategic partnership is planned for a ten-year period with the possibility of a further extension.