UNDERGROUND MINING

Sandvik trials largest capacity electric truck

The company said the truck has a payload capacity of 65-tonnes and is currently completing factory testing in California, US.

 The Sandvik TH665B, Sandvik's latest BEV innovation

The Sandvik TH665B, Sandvik's latest BEV innovation

Sweden-based original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Sandvik has unveiled a prototype of the Sandvik TH665B, the world's largest capacity battery-electric truck for underground miners.

The company said the truck has a payload capacity of 65-tonnes and is currently completing factory testing in California, US.

Finalisation of the trial agreement with Barminco and AngloGold Ashanti Australia will see the truck trialled at the Sunrise Dam gold mine to "prove its viability in a long ramp application." Commercial production of the Sandvik is expected to begin in late-2023.

The company said the unveiling is consistent with its battery-electric vehicle (BEV) strategy to include larger and smaller size classes. It claimed that the Sandvik TH665B is "engineered to improve productivity, sustainability and cost-efficiency in bulk mining operations."

It is "up to 30% faster on a 1:7 ramp than a comparable conventional diesel underground truck," and its wheels are equipped with independent drives, which will result in a simpler driveline, improved overall efficiency and maximum power output.

Additionally, it is equipped with Sandvik's self-swapping system and includes the AutoSwap and AutoConnect functions. These enable "quick and easy" battery swapping "in a matter of minutes."

The company said it has redesigned the battery cage design to "improve serviceability, enabling battery module changes without the need to remove battery packs from the cage for service."

The truck operator cabin "offers premium operator ergonomics with a significant number of adjustment possibilities to facilitate a comfortable operating environment." It includes "joystick steering, large touchscreen colour display" and a control system that provides "easy access to equipment data."

Henrik Ager, president of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said, "Our 65-tonne battery-electric truck is our latest development in helping mass hard rock miners and contractors to make the shift towards more productive, emission-free mining."

The announcement is the latest underground mining technology Sandvik has released, the most recent being two IM360-B Advanced Equipment Simulators and blended learning products to the Olympias mine in the Halkidiki Peninsula in northern Greece. 

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