Swedish firm Epiroc has unveiled its second generation of battery-operated machines that promote sustainability in the mining industry.
The new machines comprise battery-driven 14t and 18t underground loaders, and 42t trucks and drill rigs, and have been designed to reduce mining customers’ operating costs and improve health and safety at mine operations.
They are also expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Epiroc president and CEO Per Lindberg said: “We at Epiroc want to help our customers boost productivity, enhance safety and cut emissions – all while lowering the total cost of operation.
“Our second generation battery vehicles take us towards a sustainable future with less dependency on fossil fuels. We are proud to lead the charge toward sustainability in mining.”
The company launched the battery-powered products at a customer event in Örebro, Sweden. The drilling range launched by Epiroc includes face drilling, production drilling and rock reinforcement rigs.
Epiroc’s first-generation battery-driven machines were introduced in 2016. The company’s existing clientele includes Brazilian mining company Nexa Resources, which deployed the Scooptram ST7 Battery in Peru.
Meanwhile, mining company LKAB is planning to use Epiroc’s zero-emission vehicles as part of a sustainable expansion of its mining operation in northern Sweden.
Epiroc told Bloomberg that the 42t truck is the largest battery-powered vehicle for underground mining. The truck is capable of hauling blasted rock through narrow tunnels.
The publication stated that lowering the consumption of diesel fuel could have significant cost benefits for the mining industry. It is said that ventilation systems, installed to remove pollutants from tunnels, account for around 40% of an underground mine’s energy outlay.
Last month, the International Council on Mining and Metals revealed that it plans to minimise the impact of underground diesel exhaust by 2025.
In addition, the industry lobby aims to push towards using greenhouse gas-free vehicles for surface mining by 2040.