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Pure electric for mine trucks

Specialist title International Mining has reported that a Chinese manufacturer is working on a pure-electric haul truck for heavy-duty mining applications.

International Mining, which covers news and developments related to global mining and minerals processing, says that the Xiangtan Electric Manufacturing Company (XEMC) is developing a lithium battery-powered version of its 108-tonne AC-drive rigid haul truck.

The truck, which will be converted to an all-electric configuration by the Chinese State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), will reportedly feature a 1565kWh LiFePO4 battery pack – lithium-iron phosphate, also known as LFP – and have the capability to operate for eight hours before recharging.

XEMC’s converted electric truck is also reputed to have the capability to charge in a single hour, helping reduce downtime, but battery-swapping technology is being investigated as a way to increase its capabilities further.

The company, speaking to International Mining, stated that the electric truck would reduce a mine’s CO2 emissions by 2700 tonnes a year. For operators looking to decarbonise, as environmental issues become more prominent in the industry, electric haul trucks could subsequently offer significant benefits.

XEMC is not the only manufacturer investigating cleaner and more sustainable equipment for mining applications. As well as a slew of all-electric light vehicles, such as utes and underground loaders, companies such as Artisan Vehicles – which is part of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions – offer heavier equipment, including a 50-tonne battery-electric haul truck. 

International Mining also states that Belarus-based Belaz, which manufactures heavy industrial equipment, has just started testing a zero-emissions 90-tonne haul truck. Belaz has additionally been developing an electric heavy haul truck that features trolley poles and draws its power from overhead lines.

Alternative approaches to greener mining are being investigated by other companies. Anglo American, the global mining company, is collaborating with UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering to develop a heavy-duty electric-drive haul truck that is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

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