Boliden’s Garpenberg zinc operation in Sweden has taken delivery of Sandvik’s first Toro™ LH518iB with AutoMine® as part of a 12-month collaborative trial of the new automation-ready 18-tonne battery-electric loader.
Considered one of the most modern mining operations, Garpenberg is the world’s most productive underground zinc mine and Sweden’s oldest mining area still in operation. The mine is now set to become the first in Europe to trial a Sandvik battery-electric loader, the OEM says.
The Toro LH518iB will support Boliden’s efforts to improve sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions underground. The company’s climate targets include a 40% reduction of absolute CO2 emissions in Scope 1 and 2 and 30% reduction of Scope 3 emissions by 2030.
Jenny Gotthardsson, Garpenberg’s General Manager, said: “We are proud to be recipients of the very first Toro LH518iB with AutoMine. The unit has already undergone extensive factory testing in Finland and we look forward to really putting it through its paces now in our operation. We’re on a journey to reduce fossil fuel usage and CO2 emissions and increase productivity, and we are happy to work towards these goals with long-time partner Sandvik.”
The Toro LH518iB marries battery-electric and automation technologies. Building on the predecessor Sandvik LH518B, the Toro LH518iB features several design updates and significantly improved field serviceability. The latest version of Sandvik’s intelligent control system enables AutoMine readiness, and AutoMine compatibility will be available for Garpenberg’s Toro LH518iB in the March quarter of 2024.
The Toro LH518iB has dimensions equivalent to the 14-t size class, enabling it to fit in a 4.5-by-4.5-m tunnel. Its ground-up design, powerful electric motors and innovative electric driveline result in a compact size with higher payload capacity and increased visibility, Sandvik says.
Sandvik’s patented self-swapping battery system, including the AutoSwap and AutoConnect functions, minimises infrastructure needs and enables the loader to return to operation significantly sooner than ‘fast-charge’ mining BEVs, the company claims. The battery swap is performed by the loader itself, controlled by the operator in the cabin, without need for overhead cranes or forklifts.
Johanna Øygard, Territory Manager for North East Europe at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “We’re excited to see the productivity and sustainability benefits Garpenberg will gain from Toro LH518iB with AutoMine as we monitor the loader’s performance and production metrics over the next 12 months.”