Atlas Copco said its development work with underground mining equipment will be focused on zero-emission and battery-driven machinery. The company said it has immediate plans to expand its current portfolio of electric mining equipment including loaders, drill rigs and haul trucks.
“Our customers’ future is electric,” said Andreas Nordbrandt, president of Atlas Copco Underground Rock Excavation Div., in Örebro, Sweden.
The company said it will continue to support customers who rely on diesel-driven equipment but the decision to advance beyond diesel is a definitive move. “It’s high time to look forward and leave fossil fuels behind,” said Nordbrandt. “We must consider the mining industry’s carbon footprint and assume our responsibility as an industry leader.”
Atlas Copco said its electric powered loaders, trucks and drill rigs have been extensively tested in the field and the machines currently on offer have proven that this technology is ready to take over.
“Zero emission machines already offer the same or even better performance as diesel, and this is only the beginning, productivity and profitability will only improve from here.” said Erik Svedlund, global marketing manager Electrification, Atlas Copco.
The company said it putting the final touches on the next battery powered models.
“Electric and battery-powered vehicles is the future in underground mining,” said Nordbrandt. “Besides the lower running cost of the machines themselves, there are considerable savings to be had in ventilation and cooling. But most importantly, electric machines contribute to a safer and healthier work environment for miners everywhere.
“Our goal is zero-emission mining. We can achieve that through a commitment to science and technology. This is a power change that changes everything.”