Bird in the electric mine helps Sandvik breathe easy


Sandvik has rolled out a new campaign emphasising the rapid deployment of electrified machinery and the advancement of the electric mine.

The campaign implies that with all-electric mining equipment, both mines and miners will have greater access to fresh air underground, safe from any hazardous particulates or heat produced by diesel-powered machinery.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions president Henrik Ager has indicated that 2030 may see the company transition to 100 per cent electric equipment.

“Today, electric mining equipment accounts for about 1 per cent of the market,” Ager said.

“A small part indeed, but a large share of the contracts we are negotiating today do include electric equipment as a natural part.

“Many customers want to try and have decided to build all-electric mines, so this will become a larger part of what we do over time, and eventually completely replace it. Ten years from now maybe it’s all we do.”

Sandvik recently unveiled a range of low-emission equipment, including the TH550B battery-electric truck, and the Toro LH515i 15-tonne loader.

The benefits of equipment like this is electric equipment can load and drive faster while also being smaller per load capacity, Sandvik stated.

“This means that for the same amount of output you can have smaller tunnels in an underground mine,” Ager said.

“Smaller tunnels mean you move less waste as you build the mine and you save costs on building or developing the mine.”

Sandvik vice president for technology and product line, battery and hybrid electric vehicles, Brian Huff, said there was some misconceptions about electric equipment which manufacturers and governments were looking to remove.

“In one sense we want to make it clear to customers that you don’t have to change your method of mining,” Huff said. “You can still operate your trucks and loaders the way you do now.

“It’s easier for ventilation, governments are supportive, and it reduces global emissions. You have everything pushing in the same direction.”

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