Tag Archives: Artisan Vehicles

Andrew Schinkel on Kirkland Lake Gold’s battery-electric journey at Macassa

Kirkland Lake Gold is now carrying out more than 80% of its ore production from the Macassa gold mine in Ontario, Canada, with battery-electric machines, Andrew Schinkel, Senior Electrical Engineer, Macassa Mine Complex, told attendees at The Electric Mine conference in Toronto on Thursday.

The company placed its first battery-electric machine order in 2011, but now has 24 battery-powered LHDs and nine haul trucks (including four 40 t Artisan Vehicles Z40 machines, and Epiroc and RDH Scharf LHDs, among other machines), Schinkel said in a presentation titled, Powering up Macassa: operating a major battery-electric fleet at a deep underground mine.

The company’s learnings over the past eight years have been vast, but the main points Schinkel highlighted were trucks had slightly more availability than loaders, batteries can run down power quickly, the capital cost can be slightly higher than the diesel equivalent – but “it’s not about minimising costs, it’s about maximising value”, he said – and there is not as much equipment to choose from when compared with diesel machines.

Still, the company has made significant progress with these machines, he said. This includes increased reliability of machines, an increasing amount of purchasing options and improvements in the battery change-out process.

Artisan Vehicles reflects on its mission to ‘make vehicles that change the world’

California-based Artisan Vehicles has confirmed a statement from Sandvik that it is to be taken over by the Finland-based company and has now explained why it feels the partnership will set a new course for the mining industry.

“In Artisan’s main conference room, there is a simple, but powerful message displayed prominently in the centre of the main presentation wall. Cut through a half inch thick aluminium plate are the words “Our Mission: To Make Vehicles That Change The World”, Artisan said.

“When we started in 2010, we were focused on commercial trucks. But in that same year, Artisan was approached by an innovative mining company that needed help with a big business problem. That problem was getting to a deeper and very rich orebody using an existing underground mine site. Their plan was to access this orebody without spending the huge sums spent by everyone else (more than $100 million) in customary ventilation infrastructure.

“Our solution was to eliminate diesel fumes with zero emission battery-powered loaders and haul trucks.”

Mike Kasaba, Artisan CEO, reflected: “The business case was so compelling that I quickly realised that this was the way for Artisan to achieve its mission.

“Not only did this mean a cleaner environment for underground workers, but also lower costs and a better return on investment for our customers. It was truly a rare opportunity to transform an industry with a cleaner, more powerful alternative to diesel while also saving money by lowering overall costs.”

Fast forward eight years, Artisan has installed its technology in underground mining vehicles that are now deployed in several countries around the world. Some fleets have been in operation for more than five years, making Artisan the most experienced mining OEM using battery-electric technology, Artisan said.

“Now Artisan is taking a giant leap forward in its mission to change the world.”

Kasaba said: “In picking a partner, our criteria is simple.

“We want a partner that has set the standard of today so that together we can set the standard for tomorrow. I am absolutely certain that we have selected the right partner.”

Brian Huff, Artisan’s Chief Technology Officer, added: “With our technology and Sandvik’s experience and worldwide reach, I know we are going to change the world. Sandvik’s expertise in machine design, coupled with our expertise in electric powertrains and battery technology, will set a new course for the global mining industry.”

Artisan calls itself an original equipment manufacturer of zero-emission, battery-powered mining vehicles.

“Artisan’s underground mining loaders and haul trucks are designed from the ground up to include the best thinking in vehicle engineering and to maximise the performance of its high-powered, highly-reliable, field-proven battery-electric powertrains.”

Sandvik ups battery-electric machine capacity with Artisan Vehicles buy

Sandvik has acquired privately-owned Artisan Vehicle Systems as it looks to capture more market share in the fast-moving battery-electric mining equipment space.

Based in Camarillo, California, US, Artisan is a manufacturer of battery-powered underground mining equipment. It has three commercially-available machines: a 4-t capacity LHD (A4, pictured), 10-t capacity LHD (A10) and a 40-t capacity haul truck (Z40).

The core technology behind Artisan’s offering is battery packs, electric motors, power electronics, software and control systems, according to Sandvik. “Artisan’s underground mining loaders and trucks are designed with these high-powered, highly reliable and field proven battery electric powertrains,” the company said, adding that Artisan is the market leader with most battery-electric vehicles currently operating in underground mining.

Lars Engström, President, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “I am pleased to see the strategic acquisition of Artisan so soon after the opening of Sandvik’s state-of-the-art battery electrification innovation and development centre in Turku, Finland, in 2018. It is in line with our ambition to be leading in the market for battery-electric vehicle solutions.”

Artisan will be a business unit in the Load and Haul Division within Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, the company said.

Mats Eriksson, President Load and Haul Division, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “The area in which Artisan is located is a frontrunner in electric vehicle development. Our new R&D foothold there will complement the skillset we have in Finland. The combination of knowhow and skills creates a very strong platform.”

Prior to this acquisition, Sandvik had just one battery-powered underground machine, it’s DD422iE jumbo drill.

Artisan is a start-up company which, in 2017, had revenues of $12.3 million and approximately 60 employees.

The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price, but the transaction is expected to close during the March quarter. The deal is initially neutral to earnings per share, Sandvik said.

Kirkland Lake Gold’s Macassa mine on the charge with battery-electric machines

The use of battery-electric equipment at Kirkland Lake Gold’s Macassa operation in Ontario, Canada, is on the rise, according to the latest investor presentation from the gold mining company.

Macassa now has two of Artisan Vehicles’ battery powered Z40 trucks (pictured) working at the gold mine, in addition to 22 battery-powered LHDs provided by companies including Epiroc and Artisan, the company said this week.

This is part of a mining fleet that also includes six 20 ton (18 t) haul trucks and two production drills.

In addition to this, the gold mining company has been using at least one Artisan A4 LHD at its Taylor operation, also in Ontario.

Macassa, one of the company’s gold-production engines, is expected to have produced 220,000-225,000 oz of gold in 2018, but a future mine expansion could lead to annual output rising to 400,000 oz in 2022.

The company uses a combination of underhand cut and fill (~65%), sub-level long hole stoping (~25%) and overhand cut and fill (~10%) to mine the orebody at Macassa.

You can learn more about the battery-electric fleet being used at the Macassa operation at The Electric Mine event in Toronto, taking place on April 4-5. Andrew Schinkel, Senior Electrical Engineer at the Macassa Mine Complex, will present ‘Powering up Macassa: operating a major battery-electric fleet at a deep underground mine’ at the event. For more information, please click here.

Artisan Vehicles reveals new battery electric LHD, the A10

US-based Artisan Vehicles has announced its newest underground battery electric vehicle, the 10 t A10 LHD.

The company made the announcement at the Mining & Exploration International Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, US, last night.

This is the company’s third battery-electric underground vehicle for mining, adding to its A4 (4 t) battery-electric LHD and Z40 (40 t) haul truck. The Z40 is to be used at Kirkland Lake Gold’s Macassa underground gold mine in Ontario, Canada, while the A4 is being used at the mining company’s Taylor operation, also in Ontario.

Artisan sees the implementation of battery-electric vehicles as having a significant reduction in ventilation, heat and overall operating cost resulting in a positive impact of the mine’s bottom line.

“Powered by lithium batteries and an extremely power dense electric motor system, the A10 is the same size as its 7 t competitors and is the only battery-electric LHD of its size capable of carrying 10 t,” Artisan said.

The A10’s two electric motors generate 540 kW of power and 4,100 Nm of torque, while the pattented battery system uses lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry.

“Our power is not constrained by ventilation limitations and therefore we use the most powerful electric motors available, which directly improves productivity,” the company said.

The machine also benefits from a spring applied hydraulic release (SAHR) brake system with electric regeneration. This allows for the battery to recharge during the braking process by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy.

“In the right environment, a battery electric vehicle could potentially operate for an entire shift on a single charge,” Artisan said, explaining that this directly translates to added production and increased revenue for the mine.

The A10 also has a self-loading battery swapping system without the need for a hoist or crane, which, again, boosts productivity.

“Operators prefer the A10 for its powerful and productive mucking capability as well as its cool, quiet performance with zero poisonous diesel fumes,” Artisan said.