ARMZ Mining Machinery says it has become the first and only company in Russia and the CIS producing lithium-ion battery-powered mining equipment through a collaboration with Aramine.
The company, part of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co, has started producing the mining equipment in Krasnokamensk, in the Trans-Baikal Territory of Russia, at the site of Priargunsky Industrial Mining and Chemical Union (PIMCU, PJSC is a part of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co).
The project is being implemented under an industrial partnership agreement ARMZ Uranium Holding Co and France-based Aramine, signed in April 2019. As part of this pact, ARMZ Mining Machinery is the project operator.
ARMZ said the production from Krasnokamensk will cover the internal needs of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corp (of which ARMZ is a part of), and let the company enter foreign markets with competitive products.
The ARGO LHD 140B is designed specifically for underground work in narrow-vein deposits, according to ARMZ. Based off the design of the Aramine miniLoader L140B, it has a width of 1.1 m and a bucket carrying capacity of 1.3 t. A 50 kW engine and a lithium-ion battery pack provide high mobility and continuous operation for up to four hours; at the same time, offering low noise, minimal heat transfer and no gas contamination in the mine. The machine significantly outperforms the requirements of the Russian standards in industrial safety, according to ARMZ.
Ivan Kiselev, Director General of PIMCU, PJSC, said: “New LHD machines will let us efficiently and reliably carry out operations for the loading and transportation of ore inside the stopes. The transition to a new battery-powered narrow-vein equipment is an economically viable solution aimed at reducing operating costs and improving the quality of ore mining.”
Igor Semenov, Executive Director of ARMZ Mining Machinery, said the production of the ARGO LHD 140B means ARMZ Mining Machinery has become the first and only company in Russia and the CIS producing lithium-ion battery-powered mining equipment.
He explained: “We adapted the Aramine design and specifications to Russia standards, organised the technological process: in-house production of the structural frame, arms and dippers, assembly of body parts, installation of components, start-up and commissioning of machines. Our next step will be the localisation of the production of lithium-ion batteries and the expansion of the product line with other types of underground equipment.”
The first serial vehicles have already passed factory tests, according to ARMZ, and will be sent to the uranium mines of PIMCU, PJSC this month. In 2021, the ARGO LHD 140B will enter the Russia market and will then gradually become available in other countries within the customs union, it said.