Epiroc has partnered up with mining services company Capital Limited to field test the SmartROC D65 BE, a battery-electric surface drill rig for the mining and construction industry.
The battery-electric version of the SmartROC D65 surface drill rig will be tested at Capital Limited’s Sukari operation, in Egypt (owned by Centamin) during 2024. This mine already has a broad fleet of Epiroc drill rigs, according to the OEM, with Capital carrying out an earthmoving contract involving load, haul and associated drilling services.
Hakan Aytekin, Vice President, Epiroc Surface division, said: “This field test is an important step in our drive towards emission-free surface drill rigs. Capital Limited is always pushing the boundaries with new technologies, and that makes them an ideal partner for this field test.”
The field test is a major step in the mining service provider’s emission reduction and decarbonisation pathway, also representing its pledge to continue to provide a premium service to its clients, it says.
Peter Stokes, Chief Executive Officer, Capital Limited, said: “We are excited to be at the forefront of the transformation alongside Epiroc, bringing innovative electric drill rigs both to our fleet and to the broader market.
“Epiroc brings the supply of top-quality equipment, strong aftermarket support and competitive OEM financing options. Our close partnership ensures that we are appropriately prepared for the demand ahead of us.”
The autonomous SmartROC D65 MKII for production drilling applications became commercially available last year following testing in Australia, however this is the first public mention of a battery-electric version of the surface drill rig.
Epiroc has sustainability goals for 2030, which include halving the CO2 emissions from both operations and from sold products. The aim is to offer a full range of underground equipment in emission-free versions by 2025, and surface equipment by 2030.