Agnico Eagle Mines has welcomed Québec’s first all-electric Sandvik LH518B underground loader to the LaRonde mining complex’s LZ5 mine. A one-year trial, part of Agnico’s commitment to carbon neutrality for 2050, will make it possible to assess the technology’s potential for its operations around the world.
Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) are gaining popularity across the industry and Agnico is testing Sandvik LH518B loaders at the LZ5 mine in Quebec and the Fosterville mine in Australia. According to the mining company, the Sandvik BEV stands out for its high load capacity of 18 tonnes.
“Innovation is an important value at Agnico Eagle, so we are proud to contribute to this evolution,” said Luc Girard, superintendent of mining operations at the LZ5 mine. “However, we are in the very beginning of the process, so everything remains to be developed. We are acting like pioneers.”
Sandvik LH518B has dimensions equivalent to the 14-tonne size class, enabling it to fit in a 4.5-by-4.5-meter tunnel. Its ground-up design, powerful electric motors, and innovative electric driveline result in a compact size with higher payload capacity and increased visibility. AutoSwap technology minimizes infrastructure needs. Sandvik BEVs do not require overhead cranes or forklifts to hoist or move batteries.
During the one-year trial, the LZ5 team will assess loader performance to evaluate possible implementation at Agnico’s other mines around the world. The teams from LZ5, Fosterville and Sandvik will share their experiences and knowledge when it comes to training plans and mechanical and electrical maintenance for the loaders.
Details of the LH518B can be found on the Sandvik website.