Sandvik has developed what it claims to be the largest-capacity battery-electric truck to support underground mining operations.

The new Sandvik TH665B prototype has a 65t payload capacity and is currently undergoing factory testing in California, US.

Sandvik plans to finalise the trial agreement with AngloGold Ashanti Australia and underground mining services company Barminco.

AngloGold Ashanti plans to trial the new prototype at its Sunrise Dam gold mine in Western Australia to validate its viability in a long-ramp haulage application.

The trials of the Sandvik TH665B truck will be carried out prior to its commercial production, which is planned to start in late-2023.

The new truck has been designed to enhance sustainability, productivity and cost efficiency in bulk mining operations.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions president Henrik Ager said: “Our 65t battery-electric truck is our latest development in helping mass hard rock miners and contractors to make the shift towards more productive, emission-free mining.”

Sandvik said that a fully loaded Sandvik TH665B machine would be up to 30% faster on a 1:7 ramp when compared to a conventional diesel underground truck.

The machine is also equipped with extremely efficient electric driveline to offer high acceleration and fast ramp speeds.

Additional features of the truck include a new battery lifting system to provide improved reliability and Sandvik’s self-swapping system to enable quick and easy battery swap within minutes.

In a separate development, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions secured a $216M (Skr2bn) contract from BHP to deliver equipment for the Jansen Potash project in Canada.

The firm plans to start the delivery of the equipment in Q3 2023 and extend to 2026.