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Net Zero Mining

Posted October 11th, 2022


The importance of reducing carbon emissions is by no means a new topic. Since 1995, the UN’s Climate Change Conference has sought to bring global climate concerns to the public eye. In recent years, however, over 120 countries have committed to achieving net zero emissions by the year 2050. With the mining industry currently responsible for between 2% and 3% of global carbon emissions, many of the world’s largest mining companies have stepped up to the net zero challenge.

An obvious area for improvement is the use of diesel-powered mining equipment underground. The International Council of Mining & Metals reports that diesel-powered mining equipment, specifically diesel-powered mining vehicles, account for roughly 30% to 50% of an average mine’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

The Advantages of Battery Electric Mine Vehicles

The most immediate benefits of mine electrification, particularly mine vehicle electrification, are better working conditions for miners. Compared to its diesel counterpart, a battery electric mining truck produces zero operating emissions, emits very little heat, and generates hardly any noise from its electric motors while in use. Miners can then breathe easier, with a cooler, quieter, and overall safer working environment.

Advantages of Battery Electric Mining Vehicles

These on-site benefits translate directly into substantial cost savings for a mine’s stakeholders. Because they do not need to actively dilute diesel exhaust contaminants, sites with a fully electric vehicle fleet frequently see a 40% to 50% reduction in underground ventilation needs. With fewer ventilation demands, a mine saves money not only on power, but on time and resources spent developing ventilation infrastructure.

The Path Toward Net Zero Mining

Battery electric mining vehicles represent a major step toward the ultimate goal of net zero mining, but they’re just the beginning. Manufacturers have already begun to develop battery electric alternatives to heavy duty diesel-powered mining equipment such as loaders, industrial trucks, and roof bolters. With demand for battery electric equipment continuing to grow, the push to produce safe, reliable electric mining equipment is stronger than ever.