Sweden-based mining equipment manufacturer Epiroc has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with BluVein, a joint venture between Australian mine operator Olitek and Swedish electric highways developer Evias, to fast-track the development of electrification in mines.
Epiroc said it would collaborate with BluVein to develop and test the viability of their patented slotted electric rail system.
The system uses an enclosed electrified e-rail system mounted above or beside the mining vehicle and the BluVein hammer that connects the electric vehicle to the rail.
The system provides power for driving the vehicle, typically a mining truck, and charging the truck's batteries while the truck is hauling a load up the ramp and out of an underground mine.
Epiroc will, as part of its contribution to the collaboration, provide the first-ever diesel to battery converted Minetruck MT42 underground truck for pilot testing on the slotted electric rail system from BluVein.
Jess Kindler, divisional president of the Parts & Services division at Epiroc, said, "The collaboration with BluVein allows us to extend the focus beyond our own fleet and produce a dynamic charging solution which suits the needs of mixed fleet customers.
"I also believe this has the potential to be vital for the electrical infrastructure required to electrify mine operations fully."
James Oliver, managing director of BluVein, said Epiroc would bring a long-established aftermarket support network essential to transition towards electrification.