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Electric mobile equipment trials at Cannington

20 JUNE 2024

South32 is a founding member of the Electric Mine Consortium (EMC), a collaborative effort between more than 20 global mining and services companies aiming to accelerate progress to mine electrification. Mine electrification presents several potential opportunities, including reducing exposure to diesel particulates amongst other safety, environmental and economic benefits.

At Cannington, we are undertaking trials of battery electric mobile equipment in underground environments, with the aim of reducing the use of diesel vehicles and equipment and their associated emissions. One trial involves three battery-electric Bortana light utility vehicles and the other involves a Batt Mobile Equipment (BME) battery-electric BIT120 Integrated Tool Carrier, a type of loader. The Cannington team is testing the performance of the units to assess if they can meet safety, reliability, range and capability requirements in an underground operational setting. 

The learnings from the trials underway at Cannington will be shared with the EMC. They will also be used to inform our next generation of mines including the Taylor deposit at Hermosa, where the underground mine design includes primary and secondary battery electric charge bay infrastructure for the battery electric production loaders.