Electrified mining expands
Back in August I wrote about electric vehicles’ move into mines, construction sites, and ports worldwide.
EV tech is coming to an industry near you
And that trend looks set to continue. Late last month International Mining reported that BHP are expanding their pilot program for electrified Land Cruisers to its West Australian iron ore and nickel mining operations.
BHP first converted Land Cruisers for electric operation at their Olympic Dam mine site in South Australia. The 450 kms of underground roads and tunnels at the site made for ideal EV conditions; managing and removing emissions from diesel vehicles has been an enormous problem for mining companies worldwide.
By making the shift, BHP are hoping to cut the number of people exposed to particulate pollutants on their mines by 50%. For sites as large as Olympic Dam, with its 800 employees on-site — this can be significant.
Electric vehicles don’t just reduce air pollutants, either. Running combustion engines underground can lead to hearing damage over time, so the relatively silent EV motors are a definite improvement for workers.
BHP Chief Transformation Officer Jonathon Price said at the Perth Resources Technology Showcase:
“Early results indicate significantly reduced maintenance time and very positive operator feedback on the vehicle — not only are they smooth to drive, they’re quiet — and with no diesel exhaust and dramatically reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”