Hochschild Mining, in its 2020 sustainability report, has flagged the arrival of further electric vehicles at its mine sites in Latin America as it looks to cut emissions and reduce ventilation requirements at its underground operations.
The company said it has been operating six electric mine vehicles, purchased between 2017 and 2018, at its San Jose narrow-vein silver mine in Argentina for some time. This includes an Aramine L130E miniLoader® (pictured), a 1-2 t capacity electric LHD suitable for narrow-vein mining applications with a 0.5-0.75 cu.m bucket and an operating width of 1,046 mm. The miniLoader L130E is fitted with a cable reel designed for tramming off the mine power grid. The company also has an Aramine L150E tethered-electric LHD in its fleet.
In 2020, Hochschild added a battery-electric vehicle to the mix at its Inmaculada gold-silver narrow-vein operation in Peru.
It said: “In 2020, we piloted the use of the first electric vehicle at Inmaculada for liquid waste management. Working in partnership with our on-site waste management contractor, the project is the first of its kind in Latin America and, if successful, will be scaled up throughout 2021.”
Hochschild told IM that its waste management contractor, Resiter, was operating an Alke ATX 330EH battery-electric off-road light utility vehicle with a flatbed for liquid waste. This vehicle is fitted with a tank and suction motor to be used to clean portable toilets throughout the mine site.
“It is also worth noting that the trials carried out indicate some modifications are needed for it to be able to be used in the irregular surfaces at Inmaculada, and it is still under investigation by the supplier,” the company said.
Hochschild added in the report: “In 2021, we hope to expand our electric fleet with the purchase of electric vehicles for use in larger underground chambers that will not only reduce our carbon footprint but will also cut ventilation costs.”