Following the recent addition of VivoPower, the owner of electric mine mobility company Tembo e-LV Power to the ranks of the Electric Mine Consortium in April, four more companies have now signed up to work with the group, namely gold and copper mining major Evolution Mining, nickel and gold junior Blackstone Minerals, electric mining light vehicle developer Zero Automotive and hybrid power generation company Zenith Energy. Blackstone Minerals said: “We are thrilled to be a member of the Electric Mine Consortium — accelerating progress towards zero carbon mining.”
These five companies join the initial 14 Electric Mine Consortium members which were State of Play, Sandvik, Epiroc, OZ Minerals, South32, Gold Fields, Safescape, Dassault Systemes, Energy Vault, Hahn, Horizon Power, 3ME, IGO and Barminco.
The drive behind the consortium was well summed up by five of the founding mining and mining contractor company member CEOs when the group was established back in March 2021: “We share the objective to accelerate industry progress towards electric, zero emissions and zero particulates mines. Electrification of mine sites, powered by clean energy, offers our industry the option to operate our mines in line with our individual commitments to decarbonise our operations. It also provides the ability to improve the working environment for our employees by eliminating the use of diesel in underground mines. Electrification of mine sites is a key technical foundation for the automation of our equipment which will provide a large step forward in productivity and safety. Electrification offers the potential to drive improved economics with simplified, interoperable, electric-drive equipment resulting in lower mining and energy costs.”
Amongst other things the consortium is actively converting a light vehicle fleet to battery electric across multiple member mine sites; establishing a greenfield electric mine and converting a full ancillary fleet to all-electric as well as testing selected brownfield heavy EV applications; simulating a range of mines and mining methods to establish electrification performance benchmarks, a business case and future mine designs; and testing mine scale remote energy storage through installation of multiple technologies at multiple sites.