Mining equipment manufacturer Sandvik has partnered with Boliden to launch the first BEV loader trial in Europe at the Garpenberg zinc mine in Sweden.
The Sweden-based company said its Mining and Rock Solutions segment had agreed to a 12-month collaborative trial period for the new 18-tonne Sandvik LH518B battery-electric loader.
The objective of the trial is to support Boliden's sustainability efforts by cutting greenhouse gas emissions underground. It is planned to start in late 2022.
It described the Sandvik LH518B as "easy to implement" in most underground operations because it does not require significant changes to mine infrastructure.
The loader's Sandvik AutoSwap and AutoConnect features facilitate seamless installation of a fresh battery in less than six minutes, enabling it to return to operations significantly sooner than other mining BEVs.
The battery swap is performed by the loader itself, controlled by the operator in the cabin, without the need for overhead cranes or forklifts.
"As a third-generation BEV, Sandvik LH518B has been designed from the ground up entirely around its battery system and electric driveline to fully leverage on the battery system possibilities," Sandvik said.
In 2020, Garpenberg, Sweden's oldest mine, produced 3,000 ktonnes of ore which was processed to form metal concentrates container zinc, copper, lead, gold, and silver.