Refocusing our energy

The June issue of Mining Magazine is the second of our special themed issues this year, this time focused on energy efficiency
Refocusing our energy Refocusing our energy Refocusing our energy Refocusing our energy Refocusing our energy

Could battery electric vehicles spell the end of diesel fleets underground?

Energy efficiency is an issue that affects everyone, no matter what stage/level/degree to which you are involved with the mining industry. From OEMs building haul trucks, to operators and drillers underground, to ports shipping out product, there is no escaping the need for energy saving, or the level of accountability now in place across most of the World's major mining markets.

Through the supply of metals and coal, mining underpins virtually every aspect of industry and thus society across the globe. And while we cannot always influence the choices of consumers at the end of the chain, we can ensure that the raw products at the beginning are extracted and processed in the greenest way possible. Responsibility is the key word here. 

With that in mind, we have endeavoured to bring you some of the latest projects, initiatives and technologies from around the globe which can assist you in making smart investment and operating decisions at your own mines.

Need to review your energy-supply strategy, or perhaps your company is about to start a greenfield project in a remote location with an off-grid power supply? The June issue includes expert advice on getting renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric, solar, wind or even nuclear to work for you.

Perhaps comminution is your Achilles heel? Then you're not alone; the crushing and grinding of ore accounts for nearly 20% of total energy usage worldwide and our feature provides information on some free resources and strategies that could help reduce your site's consumption. Also detailed is an innovative project that PETRA Data Science recently completed with Newcrest; the miner has saved millions of dollars by using algorithms to reduce downtime at the Lihir SAG mills.

If you're interested in new ways to reduce your ventilation costs, then you can find that information here, while in this article we address the root cause of the underground emissions problem by considering the pros and cons of battery-electric load and haul fleets. This was a hot topic at the CIM Convention in Montreal, Canada, in early May and a subject I have been eager to share with you for some time. In this feature, miners and OEMs share their experiences of developing and introducing battery-powered machines underground, and provide details (and, most importantly) numbers to support the business case of going ‘all-electric'.

Energy efficiency is a controversial topic, one which cuts to the core of the way the mining industry operates and turns traditional operating models on their head. However, in this era of post-truth politics, we have strived to provide a factual and objective overview of the matter in hand, and a trustworthy guide to help you explore your options. Let us know what you think of our efforts.