BHP has joined a group of major miners supporting early trials of BluVein’s ‘next-generation’ trolley-charging technology, set to increase mine safety and sustainability.
A partnership between industry innovators Olitek and Evias, BluVein’s technology allows grid power to be supplied directly to a vehicle’s traction drive motors while simultaneously charging the onboard batteries.
The technology removes the need for battery swapping or stationary vehicle charging, enabling the use of smaller and lower-cost batteries, while also increasing haulage speeds.
BluVein’s patented slotted rail incorporates an ingress protection-rated slotted system that eliminates exposed high-voltage conductors, optimising safety and compliance with mine electrical regulations.
Much of the interest in BluVein’s new technology comes from the industry’s appetite to remove diesel emissions from underground operations – something that underlines the mining sector’s vision for greater sustainability.
Eliminating diesel also removes the presence of diesel particulates – another safety attribute of the technology.
BluVein is also standardised which means it is applicable to mixed mining fleets.
BHP said it was pleased to be involved in the early-stage trial of the technology, with the reduction of vehicle emissions a key element of its net-zero pursuit.
The company also resonates with the safety aspects of the innovation.
Newcrest, Vale, Glencore, Northern Star, Agnico Eagle, AngloGold Ashanti and OZ Minerals are also backing BluVein, enabling the final system development and construction of a technology demonstration pilot site in Brisbane.
BluVein has also established agreements with four major mining vehicle manufacturers to support the integration of hardware and controls into BluVein’s vehicles.
BluVein is looking towards establishing a simulated underground pilot of the technology in late 2022.