Battery electric vehicles are making waves in underground mining. Image: Sandvik
Equipment Technology

Mines back battery electric

Five of the best articles on battery-electric vehicles for mines

Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) for mining are a bit of a pet topic of mine.

Ever since the CIM conference held in Montreal, Canada in May 2017 – the first mainstream event where the concept was properly presented and discussed by vendors and miners alike – I’ve been hooked.

I had just written a profile on Goldcorp’s Borden Lake mine in Ontario, an operation that was slated to be the world’s first all-electric underground operation, and was researching an in-depth piece on the pros and cons of battery-electric vehicles. The conference provided a springboard for that project. Many of the world’s leading equipment experts were there, as were representatives from mines which were trialling the equipment. Up to then, no other big mining publication had covered the topic in detail and I ran with it, producing well over 5,000 words. Yes really (Me, carried away? Never).

Since then there have been a plethora of articles on the subject, so which ones are worth your time and attention?

Note: I haven’t included press releases and news items on this list- you can find plenty of those on Google. This is just the meaty stuff.

  1. Battery electric: the death of diesel underground? Mining Magazine, June 2017. Mining Magazine, May 2017. Yes, it’s old. Yes, I wrote it. Yes, it’s still good. Everything you need to know about the benefits and pitfalls of battery-electric technology, as well as the first equipment models and test projects. This is a good starting point before you get into the technical stuff.
  2. GMG recommended practices for BEV in underground mining. GMG, Nov 2018. Compiled by a team of industry experts, this is the definitive guide to operating and managing battery electric vehicles underground.
  3. What’s in a number? The economics of battery power in underground mining. MacLean Engineering, April 2017. MacLean is one of the leading vendors for battery-electric equipment in the underground mining market. Written by head of marketing Stuart Lister, the MacLean blog is a great source of information and, more importantly, numbers to help quantify investments. We all like transparency.
  4. The electric dream. Mining3, Sept 2018. More numbers. Mining3 has been researching electric mining vehicles for years, and gives a good summary of its findings here as well as the economic drivers.
  5. Electric dreams. Mining Magazine, Nov 2018. This one’s behind a paywall but a good read if you have a subscription. Ailbhe Goodbody rounds up key equipment releases and projects, bringing this reading list bang up to date.

I love a good chat about battery electric. Ask me your questions or post your comments below.


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