Miner Agnico Eagle Finland and equipment manufacturer Epiroc announced that Epiroc’s battery-powered machines passed a tough-conditions test at Agnico’s Kittilä mine in northern Finland, close to the Arctic Circle.
According to the companies, the ‘green’ machines endured the harsh polar environment and delivered high reliability and increased performance, while their battery autonomy matched both parties’ expectations.
“This project is aligned with our ambition to deliver the world’s greenest machines and establishing ourselves as a leading provider of zero-emission battery-electric vehicles,” Sami Niiranen, president at Epiroc’s Underground division, said in a media statement.
The Boomer E2 Battery, Scooptram ST14 Battery and Minetruck MT42 Battery were the pieces of equipment put to the test.
“The benefits with battery-electric equipment are obviously the reduction of fossil fuels and the reduction of our carbon footprint, but also the major advancements that we have made on health and safety for our employees,” Tommi Kankkunen, Kittilä’s general manager, said in the press brief.
The Kittilä mine is the largest gold mine in Europe. Some 1.6 million tonnes of ore are extracted every year, yielding about 212,000 ounces of gold.
At current production volumes, the mine’s known ore reserves are expected to produce gold until 2035.