Swedish mining equipment company Epiroc will collaborate with engineering firm ABB and metals provider Boliden to develop an electric trolley truck system for underground mining to achieve fossil-free operations.
The company said it would demonstrate the system on a test track at the Kristineberg mine in Sweden; it described the trolley truck as a "vital component" in enabling heavy transportation with electric-driven battery vehicles.
The truck will join a trolley pantograph, which will connect to an overhead contact power line. ABB will design the electric trolley truck system and vehicle interface.
Lars Bergkvist, customer manager, Epiroc's Underground division, said the technology would help Boliden's ambition of launching a fossil-free mine.
Bjorn Jonsson, hub manager, Process Industries, ABB, said the system would lower costs and improve mine performance while "significantly lowering" the environmental impact.
Max Luedtke, global head of mining, ABB, said the company is working with partners to build "an interoperable system" to help fast-track the development of emissions-reducing systems in mining.
He added that the company through its Ability eMine portfolio will aim to ensure electrification and automation of whole mining operations, combining solutions with others to lower carbon emissions and "move towards a more sustainable society".
Epiroc claimed the system is "highly suitable" for long haul ramps and builds on previous innovations, such as the Minetruck MT42 Battery and the Scooptram ST14 Battery loader. By 2025, the company will offer a complete fleet of electric battery-driven underground mining equipment, it said.
The Kristineberg mine has an annual capacity of approximately 750,000 tonnes of copper and zinc, as of December 2020.