Ferrexpo’s decarbonisation and electrification plans in Ukraine are continuing to accelerate, with the company confirming it will make a decision by the end of the year on the selection of a provider for the installation of pantograph network to enable trolley assist haulage at the group’s iron ore mines.
The iron ore pellet producer previously said it was embarking on scoping studies investigating trolley assist technology at its Poltava mine in Ukraine, as part of its plans to reduce both C1 costs and Scope 1 carbon emissions.
In its first half interim results, Ferrexpo said the installation of the network of overhead power cables will enable haul trucks to ascend from the group’s open-pit mines using electricity rather than diesel fuel.
“This technology is expected to provide a significant reduction in each truck’s diesel consumption whilst driving up haul ramps, which will directly reduce the group’s Scope 1 emissions footprint per tonne,” it explained.
In the first half of the year, the group achieved a 6% reduction, year-to-date, in Scope 1 and 2 emissions combined. Following upgrade work on its pelletiser in this period, the group expects production volumes to increase in the second half of the year and, as a result, lower the group’s CO2e footprint on a per tonne basis.
Alongside the company’s latest electrification plans, Ferrexpo also updated investors and interested parties on its progress deploying autonomous haul trucks at the Yeristovo iron ore mine. These were the first large-scale haul trucks to be deployed in Europe when they were introduced in 2020 as part of an agreement with Epiroc and ASI Mining.
Ferrexpo said it now has five Cat 793D haul trucks operating in production areas in autonomous mode, with the conversion of the group’s remaining 793Ds planned as this project advances.
“Fleet automation represents a significant advancement in modern mining techniques, removing individuals from potentially hazardous production areas, whilst also providing benefits in terms of productivity and maintenance,” it said.
Highlights from the company’s first half results included a 74% year-on-year rise in revenues, to $1.35 billion, reflecting positive market conditions and investments in increasing pellet quality. It also increased its underlying EBITDA by 147% ($868 million) compared with the first half of 2020.