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Sandvik battery-electric jumbo transforms South Australia

Leading contract miner Byrnecut has rolled out the Sandvik DD422iE development drill with dual controls at the Prominent Hill mine in South Australia.

The drill is the first battery-electric Sandvik development drill in operation in Australia.

The machine has been put to work alongside Byrnecut’s existing fleet of diesel-powered equipment, including Sandvik development drills, production drills, cable bolters, trucks and loaders.

Drill operators and Byrnecut management alike said they are impressed by the jumbo’s reliability and its contribution to a cleaner, quieter underground environment.

Byrnecut technical services manager Dave Taylor said the Sandvik DD422iE jumbo has met all expectations.

“It’s fitted in exactly as a diesel one would, and it has worked as it’s designed to,” he said.

“It’s got all the pros that you would expect, just without all the fumes that come out of the diesel engine.

“We always want to be at the forefront of technology and to look for ways to reduce emissions and diesel particulates – and this is one way of doing that.”

Taylor said the roll-out was simplified, as the Sandvik DD422iE charges by using the same electrical infrastructure used to power the rock drills on the diesel-powered jumbos.

“The jumbos we currently have use their diesel engines to tram around but are plugged in and the rock drills run off thousand-volt power via a trailing cable,” he said.

“There’s was no additional infrastructure because the DD422iE is charging using what’s already there in the diesel version.”

Byrnecut general manager Craig Barendrecht says with the company planning to increase its battery electric equipment fleet, the performance of the jumbo is encouraging.

“This is helping to dispel some of those preconceived concerns with how to actually fit an electric jumbo in amongst the traditional diesel fleet,” he said.

“This is just an incremental step in getting to that ultimate point where we run a full electric fleet of drills and loaders and trucks.”

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