Sandvik upgrades its largest electric loader

Sandvik is preparing to deliver its renewed electric loader, the Sandvik LH625iE, for field testing to the Kiruna mine in northern Sweden. The unit to be tested is the 600th electric loader from Sandvik and is custom-designed for the Kiruna mine.

The giant underground loader, which features a 9.5 cu. metre bucket and a 25,000 kg payload capacity, is designed to operate in the world’s largest underground iron ore mine. The basic design of Sandvik LH625iE is well-proven, as Sandvik has been delivering electric loaders powered by a trailing cable for more than 35 years. The Sandvik LH625iE belongs to its i-series, featuring advanced technology, latest digital solutions and smart connectivity.

The Sandvik LH625iE is equipped with the Sandvik Intelligent Control System and My Sandvik Digital Services Knowledge Box and to fully utilize the enormous capacity it offers, the loader can be fitted with Sandvik’s Integrated Weighing System (IWS), as well as the AutoMine and OptiMine solutions.

Due to its dimensions, at a total length of 14 metres, a bucket width of 4 metres and a cabin height of 3 metres, the operator’s compartment features a unique 180-degree turning seat which improves ergonomics because it can be turned to face in the direction of travel. The upgraded Sandvik LH625iE also has an IE4 classified energy-efficient electric motor, with a totally new, low-tension reeling system to increase the trailing cable’s lifetime.

The collaboration between Sandvik and LKAB’s mine in Kiruna dates back 20 years, during which time Sandvik has delivered a total of 28 loaders. “We are satisfied with the loaders delivered from Sandvik, with 14 still in production today. We have had a long and good collaboration and look forward to a good continuation,” said Michael Palo, senior vice-president, northern division at LKAB.

Sandvik LH625iE is proof that it is possible to achieve enormous carrying capacity and productivity without the use of traditional diesel engines and fossil fuel. The newcomers, battery-electric loaders, also reinforce that message, with Sandvik receiving positive results from its testing of Artisan A10 battery-electric loaders in Canada. Artisan A10 is the most capable loader in its size class, able to carry 10 tonnes whilst retaining its outer dimensions equal to those of current 7 tonne diesel loaders.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)