Boliden said it is joining forces to implement battery-electric truck transport in underground environments starting this year. Two heavy, electric Volvo trucks will be used in the Boliden Kankberg mine, outside Skellefteå in northern Sweden.
“This is an exciting collaboration in an environment with very tough demands; steep slopes, heavy loads and humid air that wears on the vehicles,” said Jessica Lindholm, project manager at Volvo Trucks. “The collaboration with Boliden will give us valuable knowledge about the performance of electric trucks when driven underground, and provide answers to questions about how the driveline and batteries are affected.”
The first truck to serve the Kankberg mine, a Volvo FH Electric, will be used to transport rock bolts and other equipment down into the mine and will be put into service in 2023. Based on the experience with the first truck, another Volvo FH Electric will later be put into operation and used for underground transport of rock and ore.
“We see the collaboration with Volvo as a fantastic opportunity to push the electric technology forward and at the same time learn how to adapt our operations for a transition to fossil-free underground transport,” said Dennis Forslund, project manager at Boliden.
“A major benefit of the trucks is that they will contribute to a more sustainable mine, both in terms of emissions and also the working environment for our employees. In addition, the total amount of energy consumed in the mine will be lower as electric drive is more energy efficient than a diesel engine, and it is possible to capture the electricity regenerated during engine braking on downhill slopes.”
If all trucks in Kankberg were to be electrified, noted Boliden, the CO2 emissions from the mine could be reduced by more than 25%.