ONTARIO – Readers will remember the fanfare with which a major equipment supplier rolled out its first battery powered underground loader earlier this month. The company called it a “world’s first” but was quickly brought to task by the Canadian manufacturer, RDH Mining Equipment, who introduced the first battery powered load-haul-dumper to the mining industry five years ago.
RDH president Kevin Fitzsimmons told CMJ, “We unveiled our battery LHD at the CIM show in Toronto over three years ago – after it had been running in the mine for two years.”
With lithium ion-phosphate batteries that deliver four hours of power, the LHD can drive to the charging station and plugged in. Each battery pack recharges in 90 minutes. Or if the operator prefers, the entire battery pack can be changed out for a pre-charged pack in 15 minutes with the use of a crane.
RDH now has 12 2.3-m3 LHDs and three 20-tonne trucks running successfully on battery power at Kirkland Lake Gold, where the first ones went underground in 2011. The company has supplied a dozen 4.6-m3 LHDs to an operator in northeast Russia. And the first 6.1-m3 LHD will be delivered this fall to an unnamed customer.
Next time readers want to cut ventilation costs or slash fuel handling hazards, call RDH at 705-857-2154 or visit www.RDHMiningEquipment.com.