The road to decarbonisation will involve a combination of green hydrogen power and electrification in Australian mines. How is ABB working within the mining sector to make these changes?
Nik Gresshoff talks through how ABB is working within the mining sector to make electric transitions, and the benefits that come from digital connectivity and automation along the way.
With many organisations seeking to develop a concrete plan towards decarbonisation, it is important to recognise that the future of mining will depend on hydrogen and electrification working in tandem with each other. The rate at which battery technology develops will factor into the prominence of hydrogen’s role, but companies should already be opting for electric alternatives to diesel-powered equipment.
For 130 years, ABB has been a leading expert on the road to electrification within the mining industry. We are well positioned to support the transition to more stable, sustainable infrastructure by harnessing new developments in automation technology.
While the journey to net-zero is not going to happen overnight, ABB is exploring innovative solutions to scale-up electrification on existing sites. This includes the introduction of fast battery chargers, trolley systems, and traction motors for trucks.
Getting the most out of electrification
There is an intrinsic link between achieving the full benefit of electrified upgrades, and adopting broader automation. Before equipment can be automated, however, it has to be digitised to monitor unit factors such as location and charge status of vehicles. What’s more, bringing things into the digital sphere can streamline operations, leading to considerable cost and energy savings.
These benefits are already being seen on various applications, from fleet coordination all the way through to entire operations management. In Sweden, for example, the Boliden Kankberg gold mine is utilising ABB technology to leverage their on-site connectivity and closely monitor ventilation systems within the mine. In doing so, they have cut the energy being channelled into ventilation by an impressive 54 per cent.
Through this sort of automation, there are a plethora of opportunities to reduce carbon emissions at every stage of the mining process. Better connectivity leads to full-spectrum visibility on every moving part of the network, and the potential for more in-depth assessment of resource consumption.
The ABB digital mining solution
Launched in 2021, our ground-breaking Ability eMine suite is designed to enable the electrification of key equipment used for hauling, hoisting, grinding and material handling. It leverages on digitalisation to streamline operations away from fuel and diesel dependency, bringing the possibility of an all-electric mine site into reality. In line with this, the ABB pilot eMine™ FastCharge is set to become the world’s fastest and only fully automated charging system for electric haul trucks.
Whether companies are looking to reduce their energy consumption on current assets, or substitute inefficient equipment with more viable alternatives, we can offer collaborative solutions to help them meet decarbonisation targets – now and in the long-term.
Read more about the role of digitalisation in ABB’s whitepaper. Download the free paper here: The road to decarbonisation in Australian mining – How do we get to net zero?