Announced at the recent International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne, the Innovation for Cleaner Safer Vehicles (ICSV) program brings together 27 of the world’s leading mining companies and some of the best known truck and mining equipment suppliers to accelerate innovation to develop a new generation of mine vehicles.
The ICSV program aims to introduce greenhouse gas emission-free surface mining vehicles by 2040, minimise the operational impact of diesel exhaust by 2025 and make collision avoidance technology available to mining companies by 2025.
“This new collaboration between ICMM and the world’s leading mining equipment manufacturers will drive innovation to help us tackle global warming and improve mine safety,” ICMM chief executive Tom Butler said.
“We hope that this ambitious program will lead to the development of a new generation of cleaner safer vehicles, and we look forward to working with our new partners.
“ICMM is focused on improving the safety, social and environmental performance of the mining and metals industry,” Butler added. “The launch of the ICSV program is a practical example of how our members are mining with principles to tackle the major social and environmental issues that affect us all.”
The suppliers currently involved in the ICSV program include: Caterpillar; Cummins; Epiroc; GE; Hexagon Mining; Hitachi Construction Machinery; Komatsu; Liebherr; MacLean Engineering; PBE Group; and Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.
“From the outset we could see the ambition of the program and are excited to be involved,” said Caterpillar’s group president of resource industries.
“The collaboration between such a range of mining companies and suppliers can further the safety and environmental performance of mobile mining equipment,” said Denise Johnson, Caterpillar group president, resource industries.
Also, speaking at the IMARC conference, Goldcorp's president and CEO David Garofalo announced that its gold project in Borden, Canada is set to replace all diesel mobile equipment with electric vehicles to deliver environmental, health, safety and economic benefits.
He said the shift to battery electric vehicles was nearing a tipping point for industry.
The electric mine is expected to deliver a 70 per cent smaller carbon footprint than if conventional technologies were used. It will also reduce noise pollution, reduce the risk of hydrocarbon spills and fires, and reduce or eliminate exhaust fumes, resulting in lower capital and operating costs.
“Using diesel in an underground operation is a risk inherent in the mining industry,” Garofalo said. “We manage and mitigate it as other mining companies do, but we know that by removing it we remove a source of heat, fire and emissions from where our workers are and lower the risk profile of our operations.”
It is not the first extractive operation to experiment with an all-electric earthmoving fleet. Volvo Construction Equipment and Swedish aggregates producer Skanska recently ran a 10-week trial of electric and autonomous Volvo machines at Skanska’s Vikan Kross Quarry, near Gothenburg, Sweden.