PRESS RELEASE: The BEVs guideline aims to drive technological development to enable diesel-free underground mines. BEVs can reduce both a mine's operating costs and impact on the environment, but they also require mines to make many infrastructural and procedural changes.
"The health risks of diesel vehicles are considerable, especially underground," said Heather Ednie, GMG managing director. "In fact, diesel emissions have been classified as a Group 1 carcinogenic by the World Health Organization."
Responding to an urgent need for standardisation, the first edition of the guideline, published in April 2017, contained only the most critical information for meeting this need. The second edition includes new content that adds valuable context to the topics covered in the first edition, presents new information based on recent technological developments and incorporates suggestions from those who used the first edition.
This edition adds an entirely new section on operations, covering topics such as requirements for emergency response, maintenance and operator training. It also introduces new material to help those creating a business case for BEVs. The new version also expands the existing charging section to reflect recent technological developments, adds considerations for extreme environments and provides further discussion on e-stops, master disconnects and use of dynamic braking.
Over 100 industry experts participated in developing this edition.
Tom Guse, infrastructure lead, mining projects at Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (a Glencore company) said the guideline development process was "a great catalyst to bring the industry together to push the development of underground BEVs". He highlighted that many positive results came directly from discussions that "uncovered the challenges that both equipment manufacturers and operators face", which resulted in "more clarity on many of the technical aspects" for all.
Jeff Anderson, senior mechanical designer at MacLean Engineering, a BEV supplier, called the process "a tangible example of global collaboration in the mining industry" and said it "has produced a practical reference document that will support the drive towards emissions-free mining the world over".