Tag Archives: DD422iE

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.

Sandvik outlines its emission-free mining journey at The Electric Mine 2022

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions President, Henrik Ager, got The Electric Mine 2022 Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, off to a bang earlier this month, with a major product reveal that will set a new benchmark in the battery-electric underground mining space.

After reflecting on a journey that saw him escape a broken lift on his way to the Radisson Waterfront that morning, Ager announced the company would soon release the largest-capacity battery-electric truck for underground mining to the market, the TH665B.

With a 65-t-payload capacity, this machine will be measured against the largest underground diesel-powered underground trucks for productivity, speed and cost. Interest is expected from major contractors and miners alike, with one of the bigger markets being the Australian underground hard-rock segment.

The prototype TH665B is currently completing factory testing, but it turned heads in Stockholm, with conference attendees witnessing a video of the machine in action on the company’s test track in California, USA.

Blending proven Sandvik design and advanced technology built around electric drivelines and battery systems, the TH665B will get its first mine site runout at AngloGold Ashanti’s Sunrise Dam gold mine in Western Australia. This trial is expected to prove its viability in a long ramp haulage application before commercial truck production commences in late 2023.

The Sandvik TH665B comes with an electric drivetrain that delivers 640 kW of continuous power, which equates to 858 horsepower

While displaying said video, Ager said the vehicle could haul a 65-t load up a 14.3% grade at 11.5 km/h. This, he said, was 30% faster than Sandvik’s 63-t diesel truck, the Toro TH663i, with which the TH665B shares a state-of-the-art cabin. An electric drivetrain that delivers 640 kW of continuous power, which equates to 858 horsepower, and significant torque, is behind such numbers.

Following the introduction of the Sandvik TH550B 50-tonne battery-electric vehicle at MINExpo INTERNATIONAL® 2021, last September, this latest vehicle launch shows, once again, how the company is betting big on its battery- and hybrid-electric loaders tackling the challenge of operating underground mines today and tomorrow.

Ager at the event outlined the three main drivers for the electrification move, namely: worker health, mine economics and sustainability. Sandvik’s battery-electric solutions, he said, hit all three criteria, providing safer, more productive and sustainable ways of moving the tonnes the industry needs to keep up with global commodity demand.

The primary driver for electrification came from ventilation and refrigeration constraints, followed closely by environmental, health and safety concerns over diesel exhaust emissions. At the same time, Ager said there was significant room for operating costs to fall with the adoption of battery-electric equipment given 40% of total mine operating costs were related to energy and ventilation, and electricity use was often cheaper than transporting and using diesel fuel underground.

Around the same time as MINExpo, Ager outlined that electric mining equipment could account for more than half of the company’s equipment sales in underground mining by 2030. In Stockholm, he added some colour to that statement.

The company’s generation three battery-electric vehicles have clocked up more than 500,000 operational hours with its Artisan™ battery packs and electric drivelines, with 22 active BEV units. This experience makes Sandvik an industry frontrunner, Ager said.

The machines out in the field include the 4-t-payload and 10-t-payload Artisan A4 and A10 LHDs, the Z40/Z50 (40 t/50 t payloads) haul trucks, the Toro™ LH514BE – an AutoMine®-compatible cable-electric loader, boosted with battery technology – plus the 18-t-payload battery-electric Sandvik LH518B LHD and 50-t-payload battery-electric TH550B truck.
This year will see the company officially release the LH514BE, which will be followed in 2023 by the TH665B and – judging from the preliminary nomenclature – a 15 t battery-electric and AutoMine-compatible LHD.

Three other battery-electric and AutoMine-compatible units are in the preliminary stages of development, scheduled for release in 2024-2025.

This comes on top of plans to electrify its full i-Series drilling line by 2030, drill rigs which tram on battery and plug into the grid while drilling/bolting.

Launches for the DD422iE-DC (development drill) and DS422iE (rock bolter) are expected in 2022, with the DL432iE (longhole drill) and the DT923iE (jumbo drill) coming to market between 2023 and 2026.

Since the rollout of the first battery-electric drill in 2016 – the DD422iE – 2.8 million metres had been drilled and 12,500 km had been trammed with these electric machines, Ager acknowledged.

It is not just product releases that are on the Sandvik roadmap, with Ager stating plans to develop different drivelines (battery-electric, hybrids, cable, battery-cable), quantify the value and beat the economics of conventional drivelines, expand into other applications such as narrow vein and narrow reef mines, and continue to develop 100% electrified, energy efficient mechanical cutting for soft- and hard-rock applications.

He also said the company would look to address the capital expenditure gap with diesel machines, aiming for cost parity from a total cost of operations perspective.

The company, at the same time, is planning to further its global capabilities to serve the electrified fleet throughout its entire life cycle, while building out battery optimisation expertise and developing global application knowledge to support customers in designing, planning and executing electric transition strategies.

Real equipment for the real world

This might look like a long ‘to-do’ list, but Ager’s colleague, Brian Huff, VP of Technology and Product Line for the BHEV business unit with Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, was able to outline several real-world wins from machine deployments later at the conference that showed how far the company has already come in addressing industry pain points.

Huff, a co-founder of Artisan Vehicle Systems, relayed some observations from field trials of the company’s LH518B and Z50 battery-electric vehicles, summing them up in series of snappy statements such as: “everything will be serviced, whether it was intended to be or not”; “battery cells are consumable, but the driveline is not”; “damage is expected, resilience and serviceability are required”; “isolation fault monitoring is more than shock hazard prevention”; “availability improves with each ‘opportunity’”; and – one of the more important ones – “operators prefer BEVs”.

“They take a beating and keep on working and, despite what people may think, these batteries are not fragile,” Brian Huff told delegates at The Electric Mine 2022 Conference earlier this month

Delving into specifics, Huff said real-world trials had proven the opinion that electric drivelines came with dramatically longer life and less maintenance. He also acknowledged batteries had become the new ‘consumable’ in this equation.

“Maintenance requires parts, but comes with very low labour,” he said, explaining that battery modules can be replaced underground and then rebuilt at the factory with new cells, making rebuilds both quick and painless. At the same time, refreshing the battery brought opportunities to use improved cells as they are developed – a reflection on the accelerated winds of change in the battery market.

Battling early market perceptions, Huff said these machines were far from “experimental”, having been used and proven to work at many hard-rock mines. “They take a beating and keep on working and, despite what people may think, these batteries are not fragile,” he said.

One of the new solutions to have come out from these real-world trials is the introduction of a new battery cage design that aids serviceability, Huff said. Coming with removable side covers, an improved locking system and structural design, this battery cage incorporates the company’s AutoConnect function, which, when combined with AutoSwap, facilitates quick battery swapping without the operator having to leave the cabin. The new cage would be available on the TH665B as well as other models, Huff said.

He then put some names and numbers behind earlier statements, highlighting a trial of a Z50 truck at Pretivm’s Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia, Canada, that saw more than 90% machine availability, exhibited speeds of 9.5 km/h on a 15% grade with a 42-t load, and observed battery swap times of less than 10 minutes. This added up to a 42% increase in tonnes hauled compared with a diesel-equivalent machine and a 22% boost in speed.

The trial at New Gold’s New Afton gold mine, also in British Columbia, saw a 56% mucking cycle time beat over a diesel-powered-equivalent, a plus-70% ramp speed improvement (on a 17% ramp), and decreases of 80% and 90% in energy use and heat generated, respectively.

Referring to another LH518B trial where the machine only clocked in a 74.9% availability, Huff was quick to highlight that all the problems/failures that caused the reduction in availability were correctible.

And, channelling his engineering DNA and the leading role Sandvik is willing to take in the industry’s pursuit of the zero emission, electrified mine, he reflected on all these real-world trials with: “a failure isn’t a failure, it is an opportunity to improve.”

Sandvik expands battery-electric drill range with new top hammer DL422iE

Sandvik is continuing to grow its battery-electric equipment offering, launching its fully automated and electric driveline-equipped DL422iE top hammer longhole drill.

The driveline system on the new rig eliminates diesel emissions while tramming, increasing productivity while reducing environmental impact and fostering a healthier work environment, the company says.

Back in October after Sandvik’s Innovation in Mining virtual event, the company confirmed to IM that it was testing a battery-equipped prototype DL422iE unit in Canada ahead of a planned launch in the March quarter of 2021.

The zero-emission Sandvik DL422iE joins the Sandvik DD422iE as the company’s second battery-driven underground drill, with the company expecting to offer a full range of battery-tramming rigs covering all underground drilling applications by the end of 2021.

The new Sandvik DL422iE is designed for underground mass mining in 4 x 4 m or larger production drifts. It features the latest intelligent technology to enable continuous and unmanned operation, with automation and teleremote for drilling during shift changes and breaks, Sandvik says. Through these and other features, combined with data collection and transfer through wireless networks, the Sandvik DL422iE helps to ensure improved equipment utilisation and productivity.

The new longhole drill is capable of drilling vertical and inclined fans and single or parallel Ø89-127 mm long holes up to 54 m in depth using ST58 and ST68 tube rods. It is equipped with the powerful 33 kW HF1560ST longhole rock drill, which is based on a proven concept in terms of drilling capacity, reliability and operating cost, the company said.

With an impact frequency of 40-45 Hz and optimised percussion dynamics for ST68 tubes, the Sandvik DL422iE delivers optimal bit-to-rock contact for improved energy transfer, according to Sandvik. This leads to decreased stress level in rock tools, lower coupling/front housing temperatures and extended service life for shank adaptor and tube.

As standard, the Sandvik DL422iE is equipped with Sandvik’s Platinum drilling automation package for continuous and automated production drilling. This is combined with the i-Class iSOLO drilling control system to maximise productivity and enhance accuracy in drilling fans and parallel long holes. “It acts as a full-time stinger control and is used in uploading drill plans to the control system, with drill plan management direct at the user interface to ensure one-hole automation drilling to a predefined depth,” Sandvik says. “Furthermore, feed and boom positioning to the next hole are automatic, while data is transferred via WLAN ethernet connection.”

In addition to the standard Platinum package, the Sandvik DL422iE can be equipped with an optional automatic bit changer, enabling autonomous drilling of complete fans and working through shift changes.

On top of being equipped with MySandvik remote monitoring, units can also be integrated with AutoMine® and OptiMine®, providing multi-unit control and fan-to-fan remote tramming, Sandvik says.

“As the industry’s focus on sustainability increases, Sandvik’s latest drilling solutions specifically address the challenge of providing enhanced operational drilling performance combined with reduced emissions,” the company explained.

The Sandvik DL422iE is mounted on a C400E 4-wheel drive frame steered carrier equipped with an electric driveline system (battery package and electric motor) for zero diesel emissions and reduced operating costs. The batteries can be charged during drilling in a newly patented feature, while electric power can be drawn from the electrical supply system from the mine’s network.

“[The] Sandvik DL422iE helps mines reduce overall emissions and ventilation and fuel costs, and to create a healthier working environment,” Sandvik says. “Thanks to shorter cycle times and increased drilling capacity, [the] Sandvik DL422iE has the potential to help mines increase drilled meters per shift by up to 10%. Productivity can increase by up to 20% via improved equipment utilisation.”

The longhole drill is equipped with the ZR35 telescopic boom and horseshoe type boom support with telescopic jacks for maximum drilling stability, the most effective foundation for accurate longhole drilling in mass mining, according to Sandvik. The wide 3,000 mm total boom offset and 620 mm telescopic extension allows a pivot line height of 2,100 mm, which is typical for a wide range of mining methods.

The 360º feed roll-over, large boom tilt and swing angles ensure fan drilling versatility in 4 x 4 m or larger cross sections and, to ensure maximum accuracy in alignment, the boom is instrumented with electronic parallelism. An optional extended boom support allows for up to +/-45° feed tilt in drilling fans or long holes, which, Sandvik says, increases versatility in downhole drilling in stopes at the end of the orebody, in drilling long holes in the ore/waste contact and in slot raise drilling.

Net penetration rates with air-mist flushing are up to 15% higher on the Sandvik DL422iE when compared with water flushing, according to the company. The drill rig can be equipped with a CT80 onboard screw compressor (8 cu.m/min at 7 bar), which ensures efficient flushing and high net penetration rates. The use of the on-board air supply, meanwhile, is a cost-efficient alternative to mine air infrastructure or portable units, the company says.

Sandvik gears up for battery-electric drilling revolution in southern Africa

Southern African mines will soon begin the transition from diesel-driven to battery-powered drill jumbos, with the introduction of the world’s first highly-automated underground electric drill rig by Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology, according to the mining OEM.

Saltiel Pule, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology’s Business Line Manager for Underground drilling in southern Africa, says the Sandvik DD422iE rig has already seen enthusiastic take-up in mining countries with strict anti-pollution regulations such as Canada, with the innovation having been in development for the past three years.

“The key benefits of the battery concept in underground drill rigs are zero emissions and much less heat, making for safer and healthier working conditions,” Pule said. “There are many other advantages to this technology, however, including increased drilling productivity, reduced operating costs and better energy efficiency.”

One of the first mines to have received the DD422iE was the all-electric Borden mine in Ontario, Canada. Since then, Barrick has trialled a unit at its Hemlo underground mine, also in Ontario.

The Sandvik DD422iE’s electric driveline, with an electric motor mechanically connected to axles for high torque and high efficiency, allows the rig to tram independently between working areas. The unit’s high-precision inverter delivers exact control of the tramming speed, according to Sandvik.

“The rig only needs to be connected to mains power during the actual drilling, at which point the electric motor is connected onto hydraulic pumps,” Pule says.

Improved drilling power of up to 20% is achieved by an active power compensation system which draws reserve power from batteries during peak loads, according to Sandvik. Battery charging is carried out during those phases of the drilling cycle when power intake is low, such as during boom movements. There is, therefore, no waiting time to charge up batteries.

In pursuit of zero-harm safety standards, the unit uses sodium nickel chloride technology – regarded as one of the safest battery systems for underground conditions.

Sandvik also offers a battery rental option to customers, taking responsibility for battery inspection and maintenance, as well as responsible disposal at the end of battery’s life, the company says.

“The battery therefore becomes an operational cost for the mine, rather than a capital expense,” Pule says. “This option also gives the customer the certainty of predictable operating costs while adopting a new technology.”

In addition to zero emissions and less heat generation, the electric drill rig produces less noise, making communication easier and working conditions less stressful, Sandvik added. There is a reduced risk of fire, as there are no fuels exposed to hot surfaces – as can happen with diesel engines.

“The range of indirect savings that customers achieve when they move from diesel to electric includes lower ventilation costs underground, no need for diesel storage and diesel pipelines, and more control over operating costs,” Pule says.

Barrick continues to leverage automation and battery-electric technology

Barrick Gold, despite numerous COVID-19-related hurdles, made progress on the innovation front in the March quarter, with a haul truck automation trial and battery-electric underground equipment developments continuing to take place.

In its 2019 annual report, Barrick said the first stage of a project designed to retrofit an autonomous system at its Carlin gold mine, in Nevada, had been successfully completed.

In the March quarter results presentation last week, Mark Bristow, Barrick President and CEO, updated investors on this project, saying a proof of concept allowing manned and unmanned operations in the same zone had been completed at one of its mines. On top of this, the company said it was working on autonomous drilling projects.

It is underground where the biggest revelation came, with Barrick confirming trials of a 50 t battery-electric haul truck it mentioned in its 2019 annual report had commenced at its Turquoise Ridge gold operation, in Nevada. This trial involved an Artisan Z50 (graphic, pictured), the largest battery-powered underground haul truck currently on the market.

A Barrick spokesperson said the trial of the 50 t payload truck was expected to be finalised in the June quarter of this year, “with the option to extend, should the KPIs not be met”.

Barrick previously reported the introduction of a battery-powered development drill at its Hemlo underground gold mine, in Ontario, Canada, “as a first step towards establishing the potential of this new technology” in 2019. Having carried out a trial of this Sandvik DD422iE battery-powered development drill, the Barrick spokesperson confirmed the company has now acquired the unit.

Designed to use electric energy from an onboard battery during tramming and plug into a mine’s existing energy infrastructure while drilling, the Sandvik DD422iE has been used at Newmont’s Borden mine, in Ontario, among other places.

Bristow said on the call that the company believes battery-powered electric underground equipment “has the potential to lower operating costs and increase efficiencies”.

In addition to these automation and battery-electric vehicle developments, Barrick said in the results that a new global SAP Enterprise Resource Planning system was on track for its first implementation at the Nevada Gold Mines JV operations in the September quarter. This is a “more agile, less overly-customised tool, focused on getting the right information”, according to Barrick.

“This more streamlined and standardised global design will further improve our ability to report real-time cost and efficiency data and, more importantly, manage our real-time information,” Bristow said on the call.

The NGM JV implementation could lay the groundwork for a solution to be rolled out to other regions in 2021, according to Barrick.

Barrick’s underground digital innovation plan has seen the company recently adopt technologies that allow it to remotely monitor, in real time, a machine’s location, productivity and health, as well as that of operators’, Bristow said. This tool could increase its efficiencies and predictive maintenance capabilities, he added.

Barrick’s team at Loulo Underground, meanwhile, has helped develop a system that automatically turns secondary fans on and off using personal RFID tracking systems, Bristow noted on the call. This could help reduce power consumption at the mine, in Mali, and the project is now being implemented across its Africa underground mines, he said.

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.

Resolute powers up for electrification of Syama Underground gold mine in Mali

Australia-based Resolute Mining has more than just autonomy on its mind at the in-development Syama Underground gold mine in Mali. The company is also weighing up full electrification of its mining and development fleet.

Resolute has partnered with Sandvik to deliver the automation solution at Syama, with the OEM also supplying the underground fleet, which includes automated Sandvik TH663 trucks and LH621, LH517 and LH514E LHDs

Sub-level caving is expected to commence at the planned 2.4 Mt/y operation in December 2018, Resolute Chief Operating Officer Peter Beilby told IM. “We will then ramp up to full automation and run-rate production by June 2019,” he added.

Resolute has previously said one of the reasons for its choice of equipment at Syama Underground was “anticipating the logical next step in the evolution of underground machinery to battery-powered operation”.

When IM asked Beilby about this, he responded: “We strongly believe that, as well as going automated, mining is going electric.”

While the initial fleet will have some diesel loaders for development headings and diesel-powered trucks, plus drilling equipment with small diesel motors, Resolute is already scheduled to have a tethered version of the Sandvik LH414E, and, Beilby revealed, a DD422iE, Sandvik’s battery-powered electric mining jumbo.

This battery-powered jumbo, designed to drive down production costs while reducing the environmental impacts of drilling and tunnelling, is also in use at Goldcorp’s Borden development project in Ontario, Canada.

And, it appears this is just the start of Resolute’s electrification plans at the project.

“We certainly want to pursue further electrification,” Beilby said, adding: “I have no doubt that in, say, five years’ time, we will be a lot further down the track with electric mining.”

IM was speaking to Peter Beilby as part of a longer interview for the Big Data and digitalisation feature to be published in the upcoming IM November issue.