The company said that, in the September quarter, it received an order for the Boltec E battery rig from Agnico Eagle Mines for use at the Kittilä gold mine in Finland. In addition, the OEM confirmed several orders from other companies booked in previous quarters for battery electric versions of the Boltec rock bolting rig, Boomer face drilling rig, Scooptram loader and Minetruck hauler.
Agnico is also testing several Epiroc battery-powered machines at Kittilä, Epiroc said, under its Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems (SIMS) project; SIMS is part of the European Union's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. Also under the project, Kittilä has had a Boomer E2 battery operating for months, and a Minetruck MT42 battery and Scooptram ST14 battery also arrived at the mine in August.
"The technology is now well established, and more and more mining companies are realising the significant benefits that come with using electric machines instead of diesel," said Helena Hedblom, senior executive vice president, mining and infrastructure at Epiroc.
"The advantage is especially significant for underground operations, where mining companies traditionally must invest heavily in ventilation to air out the diesel fumes."
Agnico production manager Jari Kolehmainen noted that the Boomer E2 battery has been performing well and a diesel engine has not been missed.
"Operator feedback has been positive and we are looking forward to expand our fleet with more electrical powered equipment in the near future…[and] we are also very excited to be testing the battery powered mine truck and loader. These tests are giving us the confidence to be a successful early adopter of this new and exciting technology."
Epiroc launched its first battery electric machines in 2016. The 14t and 18t loaders, 42t truck and a mid-sized drilling family were released in 2018. The OEM has stated its complete fleet of underground mining equipment in battery electric versions will be ready by 2025.