Polymetal and SMT Scharf have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a potential strategic cooperation in underground electric vehicles (EV) development in line with the miner’s climate strategy.
The MoU outlines that Polymetal and SMT will cooperate in the development, implementation and testing of zero-emission battery EVs. Initially, the collaboration is to be focused on mid-ranged LHDs and trucks, with potential involvement of drill rigs and utility vehicles in the future, Polymetal said.
IM understands Polymetal has previously tested RDH (now owned by Scharf under RDH-Scharf) battery-electric machines at some of its underground mines.
Two pairs of units (an LHD and truck) are going to be tested at Polymetal’s operations during the one-year trial with further collaborative re-design, signing of a distribution agreement and establishment of an after-sales support centre, Polymetal said, adding that the strategic cooperation is set to last for 10 years with an opportunity for further extension.
“The partnership with SMT grants us an easy access to customisable battery-electric vehicles which could positively contribute to our operating costs dynamics, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and personnel safety at underground mines,” Vitaly Savchenko, COO of Polymetal, said. “It fits well into our strategy to gradually involve EVs across the group’s operations and marks another step towards cutting carbon emissions by 5% in 2023.”
Polymetal’s GHG emissions from mining fleet and mobile machinery at the hubs with underground mines for 2019 were 334 Kt of CO2 equivalent, which is 12% of the group’s total emissions (Scope 1+ 2).