Newmont’s Tanami operation in the the Northern Territory of Australia has started trialling a new electric vehicle in its underground operations.
The Rokion R400 will initially be used to transport team members up and down the mine, the company said in a post on Facebook. The vehicle is equipped for the transport of 12 people and comes with a battery capacity of 100 kWh.
Newmont said the vehicle is fitted with good suspension and ergonomics, being designed for passenger comfort.
Early indicators show the vehicle has the capability to complete several trips to and from the bottom of the Tanami mine without requiring recharging, Newmont said.
“We hope the trial proves to be successful, and can become the starting point for the future of electric vehicles both light and heavy at Newmont Tanami,” it added.
This is not the first Canada-manufactured Rokion battery-electric vehicle to make an entrance in Australia. The company has previously tested both a Rokion R200 and Rokion R400 at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Broadmeadow mine in Queensland.
Newmont, meanwhile, is in the process of expanding the Tanami operation through the Tanami Expansion 2 project. This is expected to increase the annual capacity of the processing site to 3.5 Mt/y, from 2.6 Mt/y, and extend the life of the mine beyond 2040.