Canadian Mining Journal

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NEW TECHNOLOGY: Epiroc supplying EVs to Agnico’s Kittila mine



The new Epiroc Scooptram ST14 and Minetruck MT42 electric vehicles arrive at Agnico’s Kittila gold mine.

FINLAND – Less than a year after Epiroc’s launch of its new generation battery electric mining equipment, the company has won orders for those machines from customers in several countries including Finland, Australia and Canada.

In Finland in the third quarter 2019, Agnico Eagle Mines ordered the Boltec E battery rig for use at the Kittila gold mine. Several orders from other companies have been booked in previous quarters for battery electric versions of the Boltec rock bolting rig, Boomer face drilling rig, Scooptram loader and Minetruck hauler.

In addition, Agnico Eagle is already testing several Epiroc battery powered machines at Kittila as part of the Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems (SIMS) project. SIMS, where Epiroc is serving as co-ordinator, is part of Horizon 2020, the European Union’s most extensive research and innovation program ever. A Boomer E2 battery unit has been operating for some months at Kittila, and in August a Minetruck MT42 and a Scooptram ST14 battery also arrived at the mine as part of the SIMS project.

“We see very strong customer interest for our new battery electric mining machines,” said Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s senior executive VP mining and infrastructure. “The technology is now well established, and more and more mining companies are realizing the significant benefits that come with using electric machines instead of diesel. We are proud to spearhead the mining industry’s drive toward a fossil-free future.”

The benefits include improved health and safety, lower total cost of operation and higher productivity. The advantage is especially significant for underground operations where mining companies traditionally must invest heavily in ventilation to air out the diesel fumes.

“The Boomer E2 battery has been performing very well and a diesel engine has not been missed,” said Jari Kolehmainen, production manager at Agnico Eagle. “Operator feedback has been positive and we are looking forward to expand our fleet with more electrical powered equipment in the near future. Therefore we are also very excited to be testing the battery powered mine truck and loader. These tests are giving us the confidence to be a successful early adopter of this new and exciting technology.”

Epiroc launched its first battery electric machines in 2016. In November 2018, the company unveiled its new generation consisting of 14- and 18-tonne loaders, a 42-tonne truck and a mid-sized drilling family including face drilling, production drilling and rock reinforcement rigs. Epiroc aims to be able to offer its complete fleet of underground mining equipment as battery electric versions by 2025.

Find more information about Epiroc’s newest EVs at (www.Epiroc.com/en-ca.