Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations has ordered a full fleet of battery-electric equipment for use at the Onaping Depth Project in Ontario, Canada. The nickel and copper mine is located below the existing Craig mine and is being developed to start production in 2024. The order also includes the capability for advanced automation solutions, including remote control.
“Glencore is taking a major leap forward in the mining industry by going all-electric with its Onaping Depth Project,” says Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO. “We are excited to collaborate with Glencore and deliver battery-electric vehicles and automation features on their journey to build a mine of the future.”
Traditionally, mining machines are diesel powered, though more and more mining companies are adding battery-electric machines to their fleets. The benefits with battery electrification are significant, including eliminating emissions in operations, reducing noise pollution, and lowering costs by lessening the need for ventilation and cooling when required; this is especially important as underground mines keep getting deeper.
“Epiroc scored high on safety, design and testing of the entire battery system,” says Peter Xavier, Vice President of Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations. “Epiroc also offers large capacity batteries, uses a standard CCS charging protocol, has a battery swap system, and the designs are universal and compatible. Also, the batteries have integrated cooling systems and safety systems built into the design.”
The ordered battery-electric equipment is manufactured in Örebro, Sweden. The 23 machines ordered include Scooptram loaders, Minetruck haulers, Boomer face drilling rigs, Boltec and Cabletec rock reinforcement rigs, and Simba production drilling rigs. The Simba rigs will be operated in part through tele-remote from the comfort of a control room. All units will be equipped with Epiroc’s Rig Control System, making them ready for automation and remote control, and will also be installed with Epirocs telematics system, allowing for intelligent monitoring of machine performance and productivity in real-time.
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