Tag Archives: battery-electric

Sandvik to supply battery-electric vehicle fleet to Hindustan Zinc’s SK Mine

Sandvik and Hindustan Zinc have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for supply of a battery-electric underground equipment fleet to be used at Sindesar Khurd Mine to help it achieve its carbon neutrality ambitions.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the March quarter of 2023, with the fleet being the first underground battery-electric fleet to be deployed in India.

The equipment to be delivered includes an 18-t-payload LH518B loader and three 50-t-payload TH550B trucks (pictured) as well as a DD422iE drill rig with Sandvik’s unique and patented ”charging-while-drilling” technology, the company said.

Sandvik will also provide batteries, charging systems and a full-range on-site battery and equipment service team. The loader and the trucks will be equipped with AutoSwap, Sandvik’s patented battery self-swapping system, capable of battery changeout in a few minutes.

“Aligned with our expansion strategy for battery-electric vehicles, I’m delighted to sign this agreement with Hindustan Zinc to deliver the first battery equipment fleet in India,” Henrik Ager,  President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said. “This is a testament to both the pioneering ambitions of Hindustan Zinc and the technological maturity of Sandvik BEV products.”

The TH550B truck and LH518B loader are based on the Artisan™ technology, which Sandvik acquired in 2019, and enriched with the latest Sandvik mining technology, contributing to overall productivity improvements of up to 20%, the OEM said. The machines will be equipped with state-of-the-art battery telemetry solutions enabling automated, on-premise as well as remote health and performance monitoring.

The Artisan driveline and battery solutions have been field tested with more than 500,000 operating hours.

Miller sells first BEV converted light utility vehicle to Alamos’ Young-Davidson

Miller Technology has announced the first sale of its new battery-electric utility vehicle for mining to the Young-Davidson gold mine, in Ontario, Canada, owned by Alamos Gold Inc.

The sale, a battery-electric conversion of a diesel-powered light utility vehicle called the Miller BEV Land Cruiser, follows trials of a Miller Land Cruiser and Miller’s ground-up battery-electric vehicle − the Relay − at Young-Davidson.

“Miller Technology’s electric vehicle is a prime example of how Canada is leading the world in green technology, reducing operating costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and most importantly improving employee health,” Anthony Rota, the Member of Parliament for Nipissing—Timiskaming, Ontario, said at a press conference to announce the sale. “We are proud to see them serve the world from North Bay in the riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming.”

Light utility vehicles are driven underground to safely move mining staff around the mine site. Historically, these utility vehicles have had diesel engines, which emit greenhouse gas emissions and impairs underground air quality. Miller has developed a conversion kit to exchange the diesel engine for an electric motor, in addition to a number of other mining-specific modifications to the vehicle. These vehicles are often run 24 hours a day, and Miller has patented certain aspects of its IONIC Drive system. Prior to releasing this BEV conversion, Miller had built the Relay platform.

Dan Bachand, the CEO of Miller, said: “With our original build Relay, BEV conversion kit and new projects such as an E-grader, the Ionic Drive System that Miller has developed has arrived at the top of the battery-electric heavy duty-cycle drive systems. I want to thank our team members for their hard work. All of our staff have helped get us to this point.”

He added: “I want to thank Alamos Gold for their courage and commitment to battery-electric vehicles and emissions reductions. This is a great step forward by Alamos Gold to reduce diesel fumes and emissions, helping with employee health, fossil fuel reductions and to slow global warming.”

Léon Grondin-Leblanc, General Manager, Young-Davidson, said: “The Young-Davidson mine’s emission intensity is less than half the industry underground mine average as a result of increased electrification and automation of our lower mine infrastructure, which we completed two years ago, and today’s announcement is yet another step forward.”

Epiroc captures battery-electric, automation order from Odyssey Mine owners

Epiroc has won a major battery-electric and autonomous fleet order from the owners of the Odyssey Mine in Malartic, Québec, Canada.

The order, from the Canadian Malartic Partnership, will be used in the new underground gold mine.

The Canadian Malartic Partnership, a 50:50 JV between Yamana Gold Inc and Agnico Eagle Ltd, is constructing the Odyssey Mine, which will become one of Canada’s largest gold mines when it is fully ramped up later this decade.

The ordered equipment includes a variety of drill rigs, loaders and mine trucks, with some of the machines will be battery powered. Automation features include Minetruck Automation and Scooptram Automation, which are part of Epiroc’s 6th Sense portfolio of digital solutions. By combining these solutions with Epiroc’s Traffic Management System, material handling is optimised within the mine, bringing benefits such as virtually eliminating the risk of collisions, Epiroc said.

Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, said: “The Canadian Malartic Partnership is taking a massive next step with the new underground mine where our battery-electric and other advanced machines with state-of-the-art automation and traffic management solutions will help optimise safety and productivity. Epiroc and the Canadian Malartic Partnership have a history of successful cooperation, and we look forward to continue contributing to their success.”

The equipment order also includes education and training using sophisticated simulators, which was flagged by IM earlier this year.

This is the second equipment order from the Canadian Malartic Partnership. Epiroc also won a large order for drill rigs, loaders, and mine trucks in the September quarter of 2021.

The Odyssey Mine is located just west of the Canadian Malartic Partnership’s open-pit gold mine, which is still in operation, and to which Epiroc in previous years has provided Pit Viper surface drill rigs.

Odyssey is expected to feature an LTE mobile communication network, an automated fleet of 60 t trucks operated from the surface and on-demand ventilation, the Canadian Malartic Partnership has previously stated. All all of the major production fleet, including trucks, drills and LHDs, are also expected to be battery electric.

The Odyssey Mine will be accessed by a ramp and a shaft estimated to be 1,800 m deep. Plans are to extract 19,000 t of ore at an estimated grade of about 2.75 g/t gold and roughly 5,000 t/d of waste rock during peak operations.

Patrick Mercier, General Manager of the Odyssey Mine, said: “Over the years, Epiroc has clearly demonstrated its willingness to be a leader in the technical evolution of mining equipment, whether in electrification or automation. Obviously, this transition will not happen by itself. We are privileged that Epiroc has proposed us a collaborative approach in order to effectively integrate their equipment into the Odyssey Mine and actively participate in this evolution. The benefits from this collaboration will contribute to making mines even safer and jobs more accessible in the field.”

The equipment ordered during the March quarter includes battery-electric versions of the Boltec (an M10 Boltec, pictured) rock reinforcement drill rig, Simba production drill rig and Boomer face drilling rig (jumbo). It also includes an Easer raise boring rig, Scooptram loaders, and Minetruck haulers. The machines will be equipped with Epiroc’s telematics system Certiq, which allows for intelligent monitoring of machine performance and productivity in real time. Epiroc will also provide service and spare parts, as well as expertise on electrification solutions.

METS Ignited funding to accelerate Zero Automotive Land Cruiser battery-electric conversion plans

METS Ignited, an industry-led, Australian government-funded Industry Growth Centre for the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector, has invested A$400,000 ($297,938) in a collaborative project to accelerate Zero Automotive’s light duty electric vehicle solution in the open pit and underground mining market.

The ZED70 Ti™ mobile energy platform enables the rapid conversion of Series 79 Land Cruisers into battery electric solutions; that are certified Australian road ready and extremely safe underground, Zero Automotive says. Converted Land Cruisers release no harmful diesel particulates or carbon emissions and have an enhanced driver experience, according to the company.

The modular nature of the platform enables its long-life battery energy system to be reused in multiple chassis’, lowering the total lifecycle cost of the fleet as well as the cost of scope 1 emissions.

Zero Automotive’s solution is the result of a three-and-a-half year phased design and development program to develop and prove the clean technology in the field.

Zero Automotive Managing Director, Dave Mitchell, says the collaborative investment further validates the customer value proposition and enables the company to accelerate its growth plans.

“We recognise that Toyota Landcruisers are familiar and currently the brand of choice for miners,” he said. “These funds will be used to progress our go-to-market strategy; delivering five more converted Land Cruisers for user trial by Electric Mine Consortium members and enhancing our production capability for scale.

“We would like to thank Adrian (Beer) and his team at METS Ignited for their ongoing support and congratulate other successful industry participants.”

METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer, said the resources sector is transforming to meet society’s demand for minerals obtained in a sustainable manner.

“We are delighted to see this overwhelming demand for Australian innovation,” he said. “This round of investment includes technology that delivers safety, autonomy and low emissions technology. METS Ignited continues to invest in Australia’s future.

“By commercialising our home-grown innovation through Australian technology vendors, we increase market access to our innovative capability, making Australia an attractive market for further technology investment. These projects demonstrate the importance of resources technology and critical mineral processing for the Australian economy.”

Nornickel to trial Normet battery-electric transmixer, personnel carrier at Zapolyarnaya

Nornickel’s mining fleet modernisation and upgrade program is well and truly underway, with 2022 seeing it become Russia’s first mining and metals company to purchase “unique” battery-electric equipment to be piloted at Zapolyarnaya mine, it says.

Zapolyarny Mine (Medvezhy Ruchey LLC, part of Nornickel Group) received two brand-new battery electric vehicles − a Utimec MF 500 SD transmixer and Utimec MF 205 PER SD personnel transportation vehicle, which were produced and delivered to Norilsk ready for operation by Normet.

The Utimec MF 500 SD is an eco-friendly, efficient, and best-in-class transmixer for underground operations, according to Nornickel. It boasts a high power output and has a maximum speed of 20 km/h. The fully-electric vehicle architecture includes the latest lithium-ion battery technology, fast charging capability,and two high-torque direct drive electric motors. Batteries are charged during downhill driving and deceleration, which further improves the total efficiency of operation.

The Utimec MF 205 PER SD personnel carrier is designed for underground personnel transportation. The fully reversible four wheel drive, with high traction capability and instant torque, ensures safe and steady movement in difficult ground conditions. The new FOPS- and ROPS-approved safety cabin provides superior visibility and comfortable compartment for the driver and the passenger. The battery-electric vehicle can carry 20 passengers plus two people in the operator’s cabin, according to Nornickel.

The battery charge is sufficient for the fully-loaded passenger carrier and transmixer to drive uphill for 10 km and 8 km, respectively. The equipment will be charged at CCS charging stations, with  40 minutes required to fully charge the battery, it said. The vehicles are also fitted out with 40 kW on-board opportunity charging systems. They can also be charged from typical AC-sockets.

The most important advantage of such machines is zero emissions, which is essential in the confined underground space, Nornickel said.

Employees of Finland’s Normet provided classes and training for Zapolyarny Mine staff in the pre-trip check and operation of the battery-electric vehicles, which are now being piloted underground. The pilot tests will take six months to assess the equipment endurance in the harsh Arctic environment, it said.

Epiroc shows off sustainability credentials in another record quarter

In a quarter characterised by high customer activity and a strong demand for aftermarket services, Epiroc had another reason to be positive with the validation of its 2030 sustainability goals by the influential Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Further records were broken in the December quarter – this time it was revenue (coming in at SEK11.1 billion (US$1.19 billion) and operating profit (coming in at SEK2.59 billion) – as the company continued to benefit from its in-house efficiency programs; value-added automated, electric and digitalised offering; and strong order pipeline.

At the same time, Epiroc’s sustainability credentials were shown off for the world to see between October 1 and December 31.

In addition to the SBTi validation, over this period, the company laid out plans at its Capital Markets Day for its third battery-electric retrofit project, the Minetruck MT436B; secured its first order for Scooptram ST1030 battery conversion kits from Evolution Mining’s Red Lake gold operations in Canada (on top of the delivery of new ST14 Battery LHDs); extended its range of flexible charging products for battery-electric mining equipment; and announced a project with Boliden and ABB to develop a next-generation battery trolley setup for the Kristineberg mine in Sweden.

The only thing that was missing from this packed three-month period was the launch of a brand-new battery-electric machine, yet this will come. Epiroc has plans to electrify its full fleet of underground load and haul equipment by 2025 – including battery-electric retrofit solutions for its existing diesel fleet – alongside electrifying its surface fleet by 2030.

In line with SBTi requirements, Epiroc is committing to halve its absolute CO2 emissions in its own operations – so called Scope 1 and Scope 2 – by 2030, with 2019 as base year. However, more than 99% of Epiroc’s total CO2 emissions are other indirect emissions, with about 83% of the total coming from when customers use the products. It has, therefore, committed to halve the absolute CO2 emissions from use of sold products – so called Scope 3 – by 2030.

“This is industry leading and well above SBTi’s minimum requirements,” Epiroc said of the Scope 3 target. “The transition from diesel-powered to battery-electric machines will make a significant impact.”

Does this mean Epiroc will turn off the diesel-powered taps at a certain point, saying it will only supply electric equipment to customers?

Mattias Olsson, Senior VP of Corporate Communications, says no such action is planned, explaining that these Scope 3 targets align broadly with its mining customer base’s own CO2 emission cut goals. The majors all have plans to decarbonise their operations, with the most ambitious looking to hit net zero in 2030-2035. Codelco, for example, plans to electrify all its underground operations by 2030.

Demand for this equipment is bound to be high, which is where Epiroc’s retrofit program could become crucial.

Designed to allow miners an ‘entry point’ into cutting emissions underground through its in-demand midlife rebuild program, Olsson said supply of these machines could accelerate the industry’s electrification uptake and provide quicker access to zero emissions equipment compared with the long lead times that come with new battery-electric machines.

In a market that is becoming increasingly crowded, such an option may differentiate Epiroc from the rest of its peers, in the process, helping it achieve its ambitious goals to help keep global warming at a maximum 1.5° C.

Fortescue, FFI and Progress Rail collaborate on battery-electric loco deployment

Fortescue says it is continuing to progress the decarbonisation of its locomotive fleet with the purchase of two new battery-electric locomotives from Progress Rail to transport its iron ore to port in Western Australia.

The new eight-axle locomotives will have an energy capacity of 14.5 MWh and will be manufactured at the Progress Rail facility in Sete Lagoas, Brazil.

Fortescue, in December, said it was planning to test locomotives powered solely on green ammonia and other green renewable fuels and technologies at its rail operations in 2022, with two four-stroke locomotives arriving at Fortescue Future Industries’ Hazelmere facility, in Western Australia. These locos will undergo further testing on the new fuel system, joining other two-stroke locomotives which underwent testing earlier in 2021.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said on the latest developments: “The purchase of these new battery-powered locomotives marks an important milestone in the decarbonisation of Fortescue’s locomotive fleet and demonstrates our commitment to achieving carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, as we diversify from a pure-play iron ore producer to a green renewables and resources company.

“The new locomotives will cut our emissions while also reducing our fuel costs and our overall operational expense through lower maintenance spend.

“The acquisition builds on the work being carried out by Fortescue Future Industries’ Green Team in Hazelmere to deliver locomotives operating solely on green ammonia and other green renewable fuels and technologies.”

Fortescue is expected to take delivery of its first battery-powered locomotive in 2023.

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) Chief Executive Officer, Julie Shuttleworth, added: “FFI is a key enabler of Fortescue’s decarbonisation strategy. Our Green Team has made outstanding progress in their mission to transform Fortescue’s trains, trucks, ships and other mobile equipment to operate on zero pollution fuels as soon as possible, and the purchase of these new battery-powered locomotives complements this work.

“Fortescue and FFI are working together to demonstrate that renewables can power the energy needs of Australia’s mining and resources sector.”

Marty Haycraft, President & CEO of Progress Rail, a Caterpillar Company, said: “We are pleased to be working with the Fortescue team to determine the application, feasibility and suitability of battery-electric technology for deployment on their railway and to manufacture two of our BE14.5BB locomotives for this important project.

“We look forward to continuing to support our global customers with innovative products and services to help them meet their sustainability goals.”

MacLean battery-electric support fleet set for Odyssey gold mine

A fleet of MacLean battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) are set to operate at the Odyssey Mine, one of Canada’s largest underground gold mining projects, after the OEM and Canadian Malartic Partnership agreed on a fleet order.

The mine, currently under construction, is owned 50:50 by Yamana Gold Inc and Agnico Eagle Ltd. The partners have already said it is expected to be one of the most modernised electric underground mines, with all major mobile production equipment (such as trucks, scoop trams, jumbos, bolters, and longhole drill rigs electric powered).

The MacLean BEV fleet at Odyssey Mine will be used for ground support installation, explosives charging, materials transport, and construction and maintenance, the OEM said.

The Odyssey Mine, located near the Town of Malartic in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of northern Quebec, will extract ore from an orebody that lies underneath the historical East Malartic Gold Mines, whose Mine Manager from the late 1930s to late 1940s was none other than ‘Ducky’ MacLean, father of Don MacLean, who founded his namesake mobile equipment company in 1973 and spent close to a decade of his childhood in the Malartic mine camp.

Don MacLean’s son Kevin MacLean now leads the mining vehicle manufacturer, having assumed the role of company President in 2009. He said: “Every fleet order is special but this one has particular resonance because it connects the MacLean family past with the MacLean company future in the form of battery-powered mining vehicles. The underground project of the partnership provides a perfect opportunity for MacLean mobile equipment to return to East Malartic in support of diesel-free operations.”

Don MacLean added: “I’m thrilled to see underground mining coming back to Malartic and grateful that the partnership has put their faith in MacLean BEVs to get the job done safely and productively.”

Tony Caron, MacLean VP of Quebec, Nunavut, and Latin America, said: “The fact that the MacLean fleet in Malartic will represent a return to Don’s childhood roots adds a special dynamic to this story, one that everyone at the MacLean branch in Val-d’Or will keep at heart as we dedicate ourselves to supporting the success of Odyssey Mine.”

The partners approved construction to transform the Odyssey Project into the Odyssey Mine over the coming years in February, spelling out plans to extract 19,000 t of ore at an estimated grade of about 2.75 g/t Au and roughly 5,000 t/d of waste rock during peak operation. It will be accessed by a ramp and a shaft estimated to be 1,800 m deep.

Boliden Garpenberg set for first Sandvik LH518B BEV trial in Europe

Boliden’s Garpenberg zinc operation in Sweden will become the first mine in Europe to trial the battery-electric Sandvik LH518B LHD, the OEM has confirmed.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions and Boliden have agreed on a 12-month collaborative trial period for the new 18-t battery-electric loader.

Garpenberg is considered the world’s most productive underground zinc mine and Sweden’s oldest mining area still in operation. As a purely battery-powered loader, the Sandvik LH518B will support Boliden’s efforts to improve sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions underground. The trial is planned to start in late 2022.

The Sandvik LH518B is easy to implement in most underground operations, as it does not require any major changes to mine infrastructure, Sandvik said. The loader’s Sandvik AutoSwap and AutoConnect features facilitate seamless installation of a fresh battery in less than six minutes, enabling it to return to operation sooner than ‘fast-charge’ mining BEVs. The battery swap is performed by the loader itself, controlled by the operator in the cabin, without need for overhead cranes or forklifts.

As a third-generation BEV, the Sandvik LH518B has been designed from the ground up entirely around its battery system and electric driveline to fully leverage on the battery system possibilities.

Garpenberg joins a host of other mines across the globe trialling this battery-electric LHD. There are two trials set to take place in Australia – at Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville mine and Gold Fields’ Hamlet North mine – plus units at New Gold’s New Afton in Canada, Kennecott Utah Copper’s underground development project at Bingham Canyon and Gold Fields’ South Deep operation in South Africa.

Epiroc’s battery conversion offering comes to life with Evolution Mining Red Lake order

Epiroc is now offering customers conversion kits that, it says, “seamlessly transform” loaders from diesel-powered to battery-electric driven means, with the company having secured its first order for the solution from Evolution Mining’s Red Lake gold operations in Canada.

The new offering will speed up the mining industry’s shift to an emissions-free future, Epiroc said.

Battery conversions are already underway in Canada, with Epiroc’s Scooptram ST1030 loader being the first vehicle to undergo the transformation. Evolution Mining, earlier this year, ordered the conversion of two diesel-powered Scooptram ST1030 machines for use at Red Lake, in Ontario. In addition, it also ordered two new Scooptram ST14 Battery loaders and one Minetruck MT42 Battery to add to the fleet at Red Lake.

The company has been helped in this electrification pursuit by Ontario-based FVT Research, a Canada-based company with expertise in converting diesel-powered mining machines to battery-electric vehicles. Epiroc announced plans in September to acquire the company.

Kits to convert the Scooptram ST1030, one of Epiroc’s most popular loaders, are now available to order through most of Epiroc’s Customer Centers worldwide, the OEM said. Conversion kits for other machines will follow, including for the Scooptram ST14 loader, which is already being tested as a converted version.

Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, said: “Converting existing diesel machines to battery electric will be a smart and cost-efficient alternative for mining companies that want to electrify their operations. It will be an important part as we together continue the drive toward emissions-free operations.”

The conversion involves removing the diesel engine, adding the battery and changing to an electric drive line. The end result is the same or higher performance level as diesel machines with all the added benefits of battery technology, which includes zero emissions and a healthier underground environment for operators, Epiroc said.

Epiroc’s service organisation will offer a quick turnaround time for the conversion, which is included in a midlife rebuild and puts machines back on site ready for heightened performance without unnecessary disruptions to production, it added.