All posts by Paul Moore

Ivanhoe Mines completes Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 3 Concentrator ahead of schedule and on budget

Ivanhoe Mines Executive Co-Chair Robert Friedland and President Marna Cloete announced on May 26, 2024 that first ore was fed into the Phase 3 concentrator at the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). First ore marks the completion of construction of the Phase 3 concentrator, which has been achieved months ahead of schedule and also on budget. First concentrate is expected in early June, while ramp-up to commercial production is targeted for early in the third quarter.

Ivanhoe Mines’ Founder and Executive Co-Chairman Robert Friedland commented: “The Kamoa-Kakula operations team continues its industry-leading execution with the early and on-budget delivery of the Phase 3 concentrator and underground mining operations … a rare feat in an industry plagued by cost overruns and delays when it comes to complex, world-scale projects. Meanwhile, we have experienced much-improved power stability over the second quarter following our team’s proactive response to grid instability experienced in the southern DRC grid. As a result, we’ve seen materially higher head grades and improved production over the past two months. We expect a stronger second quarter from Kamoa-Kakula’s operations, reinforcing our confidence that production will align with annual guidance.”

He adds: “Given the outperformance of Kamoa-Kakula’s operations to date, including higher than expected throughput and recoveries at the Phase 1 and Phase 2 concentrators, we are now studying options to boost copper production towards our next goal of 800,000 t per annum … a production rate that would propel the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex towards being one of the two largest copper producers on our planet. In addition to the de-bottlenecking of the Phase 3 concentrator and increasing recoveries to 95% via our ‘Project 95’ initiative, we are now also studying options to accelerate the Phase 4 expansion at Kamoa-Kakula to target a throughput rate of at least 20 million tonnes annually. Given the current copper market, and the expansive copper resources and reserves in proximity of the milling complex, we believe this expanded throughput rate would unlock substantial value for our stakeholders and shareholders in the near and long term.”

“It is only early days in terms of the broader copper growth story at Ivanhoe Mines, with our aggressive 70,000-metre drill program at our adjoining, majority-owned Western Foreland licenses …which is now ramping up into the dry season with 10 drill rigs active. Given that our current Western Foreland resources already total nearly 5 Mt contained copper, we also intend to assiduously advance the Makoko, Kiala and Kitoko discoveries towards early production to underpin the further expansion of our copper business.”

The Phase 3 concentrator will process ore from the adjacent Kamoa 1 and 2 underground mines, as well as the connecting Kansoko underground mine. The design capacity of the Phase 3 concentrator is 30% larger than the original design capacities of the Phase 1 and 2 concentrators, which are located approximately 10 kilometres to the south. The process design of all three concentrators is comparable, therefore the bulk of the equipment is the same or similar, resulting in a commonality of spare parts, while also leveraging operational and maintenance experience.

The Phase 3 concentrator increases the total design processing capacity of the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex to 14.2 million tonnes per annum. Phase 3 is expected to increase annualised copper production to more than 600,000 t, positioning Kamoa-Kakula as the world’s fourth-largest copper mining complex, and the largest copper mine on the African continent.

As of April 30, 2024, a total of 2.25 Mt of ore at a grade of 3.1% copper is stored in surface run-of-mine (ROM) stockpiles adjacent to the Phase 3 concentrator. The stockpiled ore from the Kamoa 1 and Kansoko mines, containing approximately 70,000 t of copper, with the copper price trading at well over $10,000 per tonne, is being used to de-risk the ongoing wet commissioning and ramp-up of the new 5 Mt/y concentrator.

Dry commissioning commenced in early April, with first ore from the ROM stockpiles being fed through the front-end (crushing and screening plant) of the Phase 3 concentrator. A crushed ore stockpile has been created on the high-pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) feed stockpile area, at the end of the crushing and screening circuit. Wet commissioning commenced with first feed into the ball mills and the flotation plant on May 26. First concentrate is expected to be produced in early June, with commercial production targeted for early in the third quarter.

Concentrate produced by the Phase 3 concentrator will be partially sold (via toll-smelting at the Lualaba Copper Smelter) to generate cash flow, as well as partially stockpiled in preparation for the commissioning of the on-site, direct-to-blister smelter. Concentrate produced by the Phase 3 concentrator has a higher sulphuric content than the Phase 1 and 2, which requires less external energy input into the smelter during start-up. Approximately, 70,000 t of Phase 3 concentrate is planned to be stockpiled on-site ahead of the start-up of the smelter.

Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 3 concentrator expansion was completed months ahead of schedule and will boost production to over 600,000 t of copper per annum once fully ramped up early in Q3 2024.

Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 3 concentrator has a nameplate throughput of 5 Mt/y. Once ramped-up, study work will commence on de-bottlenecking the milling circuit. The de-bottlenecking at the Phase 1 and Phase 2 concentrators, completed in February 2023, increased throughput by over 20% above the original design capacity.

Basic engineering of the previously announced “Project 95” is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. Project 95 is an initiative targeting an increased overall metallurgical copper recovery rate of Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1 and 2 concentrators of approximately 95%, up from the current rate of approximately 87%.

Once the Phase 3 concentrator has achieved commercial production, Kamoa-Kakula’s engineering team will gather operating data with the view to initiating a de-bottlenecking program to further increase the Phase 3 concentrator processing capacity above 5 Mt/y. The Phase 1 and 2 concentrators completed a de-bottlenecking program in February 2023, which increased processing capacity by approximately 20% above the original design throughput.

Following the completion of Phase 3, and given current market conditions, Kamoa-Kakula’s engineering team is investigating the acceleration of the project’s planned Phase 4 expansion. The Phase 4 concentrator will be positioned adjacent to the Phase 3 concentrator, with a minimum processing capacity of 5 Mt/y, and will share common infrastructure with Phase 3, including the front end (crushing and screening plant), which will reduce capital costs.

An updated life-of-mine integrated development plan for the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex, including the Phase 3 expansion, smelter and Project 95, as well as further optimization initiatives and the planned Phase 4 expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

 

Andrada Mining chooses TOMRA XRT sorting tech for the tin plant at its Uis mine

Andrada Mining has purchased TOMRA XRT sorters as part of its expansion plans at the flagship Uis mine in Namibia. The sorters feature TOMRA’s latest innovation launched earlier this year at the Mining Indaba exhibition: the groundbreaking OBTAIN™ software that leverages Deep Learning to bring single-particle precision to high-throughput particle sorting.

Andrada Mining, the African technology metals mining company, owns the open-pit Uis tin mine, which represents one of the largest tin reserves in Namibia. It is in the course of implementing expansion plans at the mine, which include introducing a pre-concentrating circuit of ore sorters with the aim of increasing tin concentrate from 1,500 to 2,600 t/y. It has purchased TOMRA COM Tertiary XRT sorters for the ore sorting pre-concentration circuit in the dry process section of the plant, expecting to increase the tin content of the feed to the wet processing plant by 50%.

A COM Tertiary XRT 1200 will be dedicated to the coarse size fraction. For the small particle sizes, two COM Tertiary XRT Fines sorters are equipped with the high-resolution TS100C ejection module, which delivers high precision in high-capacity applications. The module uses 90% less compressed air to eject the particles, reducing energy consumption dramatically and consequently significantly cutting operating costs while delivering a high-quality product.

These XRT sorters feature TOMRA’s groundbreaking AI-powered OBTAIN™ software which leverages Deep Learning to deliver single-particle precision in high-throughput ore sorting – an industry first. It uses a Neuronal Network to identify the properties of each particle accurately and independently of the sorter’s capacity, achieving unparalleled precision and reliability in detection and ejection. In addition to enhancing the sorters’ performance, taking capacity, quality and recovery to a new level, OBTAIN™ will provide Andrada Mining with a wealth of detailed and accurate data, which will help them optimise the process with better-informed decision-making.

Anthony Viljoen, Chief Executive Officer at Andrada Mining, said: “Andrada Mining is proud to partner with TOMRA, a market leader in ore sorting technology. TOMRA’s proven ability to adapt solutions for fast-growing companies like Andrada ensures a smooth and swift implementation process. TOMRA’s XRT sorters are a game-changer, combining high-tech sensors, powerful sorting valves, and industry-leading software for exceptional reliability. With TOMRA’s OBTAIN™ imaging software, we can boost production output while maximizing mineral recovery and ore quality which is a win-win for efficiency and earnings.”

Helga van Lochem, Area Sales Manager for Southern Africa at TOMRA Mining concludes: “We are excited about teaming up with Andrada Mining and helping them unlock value at their flagship Uis mine our XRT sorters, the first to incorporate our OBTAIN™ Deep Learning feature unveiled just a few months ago. We will be at their side throughout the installation process and beyond, ensuring the sorters perform as required, meeting and even exceeding expectations.”

 

Master Drilling orders 6.5 m diameter TBM for mining from China’s CRCHI

Master Drilling, the global mechanised rock excavation specialist, says it has again shows a commitment to advancing technology within the mining industry by placing an order for a powerful 6.5 m-diameter second-generation Mobile Tunnel Borer with China’s China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Corporation Ltd (CRCHI), which is a world leader in the supply of Tunnel Boring Machines or TBMs. CRCHI is based in the National Economic & Technical Development Zone, Changsha, Hunan Province.

It says this tunnel boring technology is specifically suited for the mining industry and its strenuous requirements. This enables miners to reach underground orebodies safer, faster, at lower cost, with higher quality, and with shorter lead times. Master Drilling adds: “The system addresses industry-specific requirements such as tunnelling of declines in hard rock, tight turning radiuses, shorter setup, and clear periods, dealing with gas and water intersections, simultaneous rock support, meeting strict statutory requirements, and much more.”

 

 

 

‘World first for heavy industry of this scale’: Fortescue boss

Australian iron ore major Fortescue will either “turn down or turn off our operations” when renewable energy isn’t available in a new type of future commodity “demand response”, head of green power, Meheroop Chopra said at The Electric Mine 2024.

“We’re fully committed to a real zero target, which means that we will run our operations when the sun is shining, when the wind is blowing, and we have stored enough energy in our batteries, or green molecules,” Chopra said.

“This also means that we will either turn down or turn off our operations when renewable energy isn’t available, and we call this demand response. It will be a world first for heavy industry of this scale in the iron ore business.”

Chopra said Fortescue’s 2022 commitment to invest A$6.2 billion to “turn our mining operations green by 2030” meant switching off diesel, gas and carbon credits, adding 2-3 gigawatts of wind and solar power generation, and significant battery storage capacity, as well as 750 km of transmission lines. The company would also be reequipping its large mobile mining and rail fleet with non-diesel machines.

“We’re about to commission our first inhouse 100-megawatt solar farm near our Iron Bridge operations midway through this year,” Chopra said. “Over the next seven years we’ll be replacing a diesel-consuming mining fleet, including rail, with non-emitting alternatives. By doing this we will remove 700 million litres of diesel a year from our iron ore operations and save ourselves $3 billion cumulatively between now and 2030.

“We also know that that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We know that as a result of shipping iron ore, and converting this to steel, primarily by the steel mills in Asia, we emit a further 261.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent every year. We acknowledge they are significantly larger than our scope one and two [2.5Mt CO2-equivalent]. But in the true spirit of Fortescue, we decided to set ourselves a stretch target to deal with this as well. We will achieve net zero on scope three emissions by 2040.”

Chopra said Fortescue had recently announced final investment decisions on its first two green energy projects.

“We’re also fast tracking a number of major projects globally that will position us as a major supplier of green molecules to the world,” he said.

“We don’t believe anyone in the world is currently doing what we’re doing at the same pace and scale. And by getting our projects underway now, our first mover advantage places us in the best possible position to realise the value of the energy transition. We’re not only doing this because we think it’s the best thing to do for the planet. We believe that it makes true business sense to do so. We believe that decarbonising will deliver greater returns to our shareholders.”

Savings would come not only from the 700 Ml/year diesel consumption cut and the 15 million gigajoules of gas no longer burnt, but also the carbon credits “we will no longer need.”

“All of us here know that fossil fuel volatility is only going to increase,” Chopra said. “Regulatory risk is high and it’s ever increasing and it’s quite unattractive to be exposed to carbon offsets. By decarbonising we’re going to protect ourselves against the volatility while gaining better access to capital markets.”

This story was written by Richard Roberts of InvestMETS, one of The Electric Mine 2024 Supporting Partners

Sandvik, Hindustan Zinc expand underground equipment partnership

Hindustan Zinc Limited has awarded Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions a new contract to supply a diverse fleet of underground mining equipment across its zinc mines in India. Hindustan Zinc will expand its existing Sandvik fleet with loaders, trucks, development drills and production drills, including its first fully automated Sandvik i-series boom production rig. Deliveries are scheduled through the end of 2024.

“Sandvik and Hindustan Zinc have developed a strong partnership over the past 15 years,” said Manojit Haldar, Sales Area Manager India at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions. “We are honoured to continue expanding our collaboration and we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing Hindustan Zinc with pioneering digital, automation and electrification solutions to support its productivity, sustainability and decarbonisation goals.”

The collaboration signifies a strategic alignment with Hindustan Zinc’s future production and development objectives as the zinc miner plans to increase metal production from 1.2 Mt/y to more than 1.5 Mt/y in the coming years. Hindustan Zinc operates five major underground zinc-lead mines in India, all in Rajasthan – Rampura Agucha Mines, Rajpura Dariba, Sindesar Khurd, Zawar and Kayad.

EACON Mining and MACA continue collaboration at The Electric Mine 2024

EACON Mining, a leading provider of autonomous haulage solutions, and MACA, a leader in mining services, are making waves at the highly anticipated The Electric Mine 2024 exhibition. The joint exhibition marks a significant milestone in their collaboration, showcasing pioneering advancements in electrification technologies and autonomous driving that are poised to reshape the future of mining. The shift toward smaller autonomous haul trucks signifies the partnerships commitment to leveraging technology to find solutions that are safe, cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and suitable for the variable conditions present in mining operations.

EACON and MACA are actively pursuing the development and importation of battery electric mining trucks and hybrid battery mining trucks into the Australian market. These trucks manufactured by different OEMs will be embedded with EACON new energy systems, drive by wire systems, autonomous capabilities and will conform to regional standards/regulations. This collaborative effort builds upon the foundation laid with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the end of 2023.

EACON Mining is driving the mining industry’s shift towards electrification with its expertise in battery electric power systems design, hybrid power system design and autonomous turn-key solution capabilities. Collaborating with OEMs, EACON’s driverless electric haul truck models have been introduced into a quarry operation since 2023. This initiative provides greener and more efficient mining operations. In this quarry, haulage predominantly involves loaded downhill travel, providing excellent opportunities for regeneration of the electric vehicles. By March 2024, the electric fleet has collectively reduced emissions by over 2,300 tons and travelled a haulage distance of more than 300,000 kilometres, underscoring the dedication to sustainability.

Battery electric Yutong trucks with EACON AHS running at Fushan quarry in China

In July 2023, EACON, in partnership with LGMG, unveiled a 90-ton autonomous hybrid battery mining truck. Featuring EACON’s pioneering energy control design, this model achieves fuel savings of up to 30% compared to traditional diesel-powered trucks. Plus, another industry leader, Tonly Heavy Industries, recently introduced a hybrid model featuring EACON’s hybrid power systems. Over 100 of these autonomous haul trucks are set to be deployed in EACON’s coal mine projects. EACON has built a fleet of over 300 autonomous trucks, with battery electric and hybrid powertrain accounting for over 90% of the fleet. These vehicles have collectively covered a distance exceeding 8.8 million kilometres. Drawing from a deep understanding of autonomy technology in mining, EACON says it has seamlessly integrated this into the design of the new energy haul trucks.

“We are excited to showcase our collaboration. With MACA, we are reshaping the future of mining by introducing innovative solutions that prioritise safety, efficiency, and sustainability,” said Elaine Jin, COO of EACON Mining Australia. “Currently, small-tonnage pure electric mining trucks offer mature solutions. EACON’s autonomous driving system will help alleviate the cost pressures associated with implementing small-tonnage solutions.”

MACA’s significant strides in electrification initiatives align with EACON’s commitment to decarbonisation and sustainability in mining. The collaborators say that their interoperable battery-electric vehicle solutions will significantly reduce emissions while maximising battery lifecycle, contributing to a greener and more sustainable future for the mining industry.

In collaboration with EACON Mining, MACA is also leveraging state-of-the-art technology to integrate autonomous driving systems into its fleet of haul trucks. This move aims to enhance productivity and reduce operational costs through more efficient fleet management and optimised vehicle movements. The introduction of autonomous driving capabilities is expected to create safer working environments by eliminating human error and reducing the risk of accidents.

David Greig, Thiess Group Executive – Australia West said: “Our collaboration with EACON underscores our vision to harness the power of people and technology to drive sustainable change. This reinforces MACA’s commitment to offering our clients OEM agnostic autonomy, essential for holistic electrification in mining. By blending the strengths of our people with innovative technologies, we are spearheading transformative change where mining operations are safer, greener, and more efficient.”

As EACON Mining and MACA have unveiled their latest innovations at Electric Mining 2024, they say their steadfast commitment lies in propelling sustainable change within the mining industry. Through collaborative efforts, the focus remains on raising safety standards, enhancing operational efficiency, and spearheading the transition towards a greener, more sustainable mining sector.

Fortescue’s hydrogen-powered Liebherr T 264 haul truck prototype drives on hydrogen for first time

Fortescue’s hydrogen-powered haul truck prototype, dubbed ‘Europa’ has reached the significant milestone of having operated off hydrogen for the first time. This development marks a major step in Fortescue’s mission to decarbonise heavy industry as well as the company’s partnership with Liebherr Mining. Both companies are present at The Electric Mine 2024 this week at Crown Perth with large delegations and the progress being made with this zero emissions truck program was a subject of discussion.

Delivered in collaboration with Liebherr, Europa is a T 264 Liebherr haul truck and contains a 1.6 MWh battery (developed in-house by Fortescue WAE) and 500 kW of fuel cells. The prototype can store over 380 kg of liquid hydrogen. Fortescue Metals Chief Executive Officer, Dino Otranto said: “Following the success of our battery electric haul truck prototype at site, we’re thrilled to now have Europa up and running on hydrogen. This is a huge achievement for the team and brings us another step closer to having a fleet of zero emissions trucks at our sites by the end of this decade.”

He adds: “We’re aiming to transport Europa to our mining operations within the coming weeks where it will undergo further site-based testing and commissioning. The subsequent test results will inform our future fleet of zero emissions trucks that we’re delivering with Liebherr.” It is going initially to the Christmas Creek iron ore mine, where it will transition from a gaseous hydrogen system to a liquid hydrogen system.

Joerg Lukowski, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Liebherr Mining said: “With Europa soon moving to site, Liebherr and Fortescue have taken an important step closer to their common target of developing and building zero emission solutions for the mining industry that are both field proven and energy agnostic. This success demonstrates the incredible capabilities of two Tier 1 companies working together to develop viable technologies today that can help the mining industry move towards a decarbonised future.”

In June 2022, Fortescue and Liebherr established a partnership for the development and supply of zero emissions mining haul trucks. Fortescue anticipates that the final fleet will also comprise a large number of support Heavy Mobile Equipment from a range of suppliers with the vast majority having a Fortescue WAE power system.

Fortescue has already started to take delivery of the first T 264 diesel electric trucks which will be converted to zero emissions technology before the end of the decade.

Smaller Scania autonomous mining trucks going commercial

Scania says it has started sales of autonomous mining trucks, “opening up for safer, more efficient and more sustainable mining operations.” The realisation of autonomous transport it says is taking a big step forward as Scania has opened up for orders of the company’s self-driving mining solutions. It is now possible to place orders for Scania’s 40 t autonomous heavy tipper for mining, with the 50 t model to follow shortly afterwards.

As a first step, Scania says it will start sales of its autonomous mining solutions in Australia, with first deliveries and start of operation scheduled from 2026. The next market in line will most likely be Latin America, a region where Scania has a significant market presence in the mining segment.

“The transition from research and development to the launch of a commercial product is a major milestone for us and for autonomous heavy transport in general. This is the most advanced product Scania has put on the market so far,” says Peter Hafmar, Vice President and Head of Autonomous Solutions at Scania.

Mines have long been seen as one of the most promising environments for autonomous vehicles, as they can contribute to safer working conditions and more efficient operations. Scania says its mining solutions with smaller, civil-class trucks also have overall potential advantages over the industry’s traditional heavy haulage trucks, both in terms of emissions and productivity. By utilising Scania’s autonomous mining trucks, the overall mining footprint including energy and infrastructure requirements can be reduced, meaning that capital and operating expenses may also be reduced at suitable sites.

Scania’s autonomous trucks can also be smoothly fitted into an existing operations set-up in a mine, thanks to their interoperability with other systems and vehicles.

“Another benefit with our solution is that it allows mining companies to more quickly take the next step towards zero-emission operations. It’s easier to electrify operations with Scania’s autonomous trucks compared with traditional heavy haulage trucks,” says Hafmar.

Over the past ten years, Scania has invested heavily in the development of self-driving vehicles. Innovations include applications for hub-to-hub transport on highways as well as autonomous vehicles for confined areas such as mines. Scania’s autonomous tipper truck has been developed in close cooperation between Scania’s R&D department and customers in the mining industry, with extensive testing in the harshest real-life conditions.

“It’s probably the most ambitious research and development project we have done so far together with a customer, and I am very pleased about the result. Thanks to all the rigorous checks and numerous on-site tests we have been able to develop an optimal autonomous transport solution for mines,” Hafmar concludes.

Specifically, Scania has tested and trialled the trucks extensively in Australia with Rio Tinto including initially at Dampier Salt and latterly at the Channar iron ore operation. Scania also has a delegation this week at The Electric Mine 2024 conference at Crown Perth.

Echion Technologies partners with MACA, the global contractor pioneering new technologies in mining

The leading supplier of niobium battery anode materials, Echion Technologies (Echion), and global contracting group in the resource and construction sectors, MACA, have entered into a partnership. This agreement, underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding, lays the foundation for MACA to access Echion’s state-of-the-art battery technology, utilising niobium-based XNO® anode materials.

XNO® anode materials unlock unique capabilities in lithium-ion batteries used in heavy duty electric vehicles, including: ultra-fast charging, high energy density, long-cycle life and high performance in extreme environments. Echion will work to develop the battery specifications and requirements for use in MACA’s applications, and leverage Echion’s battery supply chain partners to provide XNO®-equipped batteries.

Ben Ting, Chief Commercial Officer at Echion, said: “We are delighted to have signed the MoU with our partner, MACA. I was very impressed by the pioneering spirit of the organisation and its track record in deploying innovative new technologies into existing mining contracts. Echion’s anode material, XNO®, has the attributes required to meet the needs of heavy duty industrial electric vehicles and we are excited to be working towards developing battery packs and eventually, vehicles that are powered by XNO®. While this is just the first step in our journey together, we believe that our new partnership can make significant inroads into the mass electrification of heavy-duty mining and construction vehicles.”

David Greig, Group Executive of MACA, said: “We are committed to being at the forefront of innovative technologies which have the power to advance our journey towards sustainability and decarbonisation. This partnership with Echion further establishes MACA as a business driving change through new ways of working, as we set our sights on the potential benefits of XNO® for our fleet of heavy-duty vehicles.”

Echion’s niobium based XNO® anode material uniquely unlocks ultra-fast-charging capabilities for lithium-ion batteries used in heavy duty vehicles required in construction, mining and other industries. Lithium-ion batteries powered by XNO® can safely charge in less than 10 minutes, maintain high energy densities even at low temperatures, and deliver high power across a cycle life of more than 10,000 cycles.

MACA is an Australian founded contracting group servicing the resources and construction industries for over 20 years. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Thiess Group Holdings Pty Ltd.

ABB and Nuh Cement complete haul truck retrofit from diesel to zero-emissions

ABB has completed the retrofit conversion of a Nuh Cement-owned diesel-fuelled Euclid R85B haul truck into a fully electric, zero-emission vehicle. The two companies worked together closely to design and build this retrofit project, which is the first time in the world that a vehicle of this size and class type has been fully electrified. In addition to overall system engineering, ABB’s contribution to the project included a BORDLINE® CC200, traction battery, an air-cooled traction motor, vehicle control electronics, a battery thermal management system, and a DC Fast charger.

The limestone mine, which is located in Kocaeli-Körfez, east of the Marmara region surrounding Istanbul, Türkiye, is positioned in such a way that the trucks travel downhill, fully loaded, on an average ramp gradient of between 18-20%. Regenerative braking enables the truck to recharge its battery as it descends, and once unloaded, ascend to the top of the mine using only previously regenerated electric power.

The project delivers significant benefits by revitalising a machine that was approaching the end of its operational lifespan. This approach further supports Nuh Cement’s sustainability goals by extending the lifespan of its haul truck, which had reached the end of its 30-year operational cycle, allowing it to operate for many more years. Rather than scrap and replace the original mining vehicle, which would involve disposing of several tons of material and purchasing a new vehicle at the cost of several million dollars, the project propelled greater returns on the initial investment made by Nuh Cement some 30 years’ ago.

In addition to the economic efficiencies, the retrofitting of this one truck will save approximately 100,000 litres of diesel fuel and prevent 245 tons of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to 58 gasoline (petrol)-powered passenger vehicles driven for one year. The use of ABB’s electric drivetrain solutions in place of a diesel combustion engine offers significantly lower operating costs via a reduction of both fuel consumption and maintenance requirements. In addition, the truck operates with higher performance, thereby increasing the vehicles productivity. On-site workers also benefit from the switch to electric propulsion through reduced noise, less vibration, and a cleaner work environment.

Many of the largest mining operators have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030. Retrofitting trucks in this way is a viable, quick solution that mining operators can take advantage of as an immediate step towards meeting their ambitious sustainability targets.

Group CEO of Nuh Cement, Gökhan Bozkurt said: “This retrofitting conversion is one of the first in the world and we’re delighted with the result. It leads the way towards a more sustainable future for the mining and cement industries and will significantly reduce our costs and impact on the environment.”

ABB Motion’s Traction Division President, Edgar Keller said: “The completion of this project is enormously satisfying because it gives new life to machines that otherwise would have expired, whilst simultaneously lowering costs, reducing carbon emissions and boosting the productivity of Nuh Cement’s operations. It proves that converting diesel vehicles to full electric power is possible and at immediate reach. The time to decarbonise the mining industry has well and truly arrived.”