Miners, METS companies push for underground electrification

The Sandvik LH518B BEV loader. Image: Sandvik.

Mining and mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies have joined forced for the newly established Electric Mine Consortium, encouraging battery electric vehicles to provide safer solutions for the industry.

Led by State of Play, South32, OZ Minerals and IGO have joined the consortium and co-signed a statement of intent for the electrification of their mine sites.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions and Epiroc will help deliver electric solutions to mining companies, along with Dassault, Horizon Energy, Hahn Electrical, Energy Vault, Safescape and 3ME Technologies.

The 14 companies in the consortium are also aiming to reduce scope one and two carbon emissions.

Sandvik already has a number of battery electric vehicles in its fleet which reduce carbon emissions and promote safer operations.

According to Sandvik sustainable business, marketing and communications manager Kate Bills, the company is hearing up to achieve its 2030 sustainability goals, while also delivering more efficient and safer solutions that use electric motors.

“Sandvik is committed to using engineering and innovation to advance the world towards more sustainable business,” Bills said.

“We are convinced that we can make the best contribution to a sustainable future by working together with our customers and suppliers to provide more efficient, safer and environmentally-sound solutions.

“Joining the new Electric Mine Consortium and leading the electrification and automation transition in mining are some of the many ways we will achieve our 2030 sustainability ambitions.”

According to State of Play’s survey of global mining executives, 87 per cent of mine sites will become fully electric within 20 years and 60 per cent of the next generation of greenfield mines will also be electric.

State of Play co-founder Grame Stanway said several of the consortium miners competed in battery minerals markets, with electronic vehicles companies seeking more carbon neutral supply chains.

“Our data shows renewables, all electric systems and batteries will help fuel the change towards a healthier, economically viable future of mining, but uncertainty remains when it comes to which area to invest in first, and how,” he said.

“Here in Australia, we have an abundance of renewables that the industry is tapping into, particularly in our most remote operations.

“Local mine sites have the opportunity to install solar, wind and battery energy storage systems to power their operations at a much cheaper cost than many global players.”