Adapting Your Mine for the Future With Battery Electric Vehicles

Adapting Your Mine for the Future With Battery Electric Vehicles

An economic life cycle analysis by Fraser McGill

Adapting your mine for the future
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Challenges Experienced

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With the global drive to move towards a low carbon economy, the mining industry has come under immense pressure to transition their mines to cleaner and greener facilities. As an intensive user of diesel and coal generated power, the mining industry has the potential to be at the forefront of this transition.

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As part of an optimisation study, Fraser McGill performed a techno economic life cycle analysis with a client, aimed at quantifying the total cost of ownership associated with replacing an underground diesel fleet with state of the art battery electric vehicles .

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Battery electric vehicles (BEVs), along with the advances in battery technology, provide a feasible solution to improve environmental conditions in underground mines which in turn provides a significant benefit to mine health and safety. Not only does this technology support a cleaner and greener mining environment, but it unlocks sustainable incremental value by reducing the total costs associated with operating mining fleets in underground mines.

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Together with leaders in BEV and battery technology, Fraser McGill analysed the impact of implementing BEVs on infrastructure, underground equipment, ventilation and refrigeration requirements to determine the risks , benefits and opportunities existing for deep level hard rock mining applications. The study provides a quantified comparison between diesel and battery vehicles and contextualises any pre conceived assumptions, from a holistic point of view associated with BEVs.

Futuristic Excavator
Futuristic Excavator

Key questions you should ask

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What is the current state of this technology in the mining industry and where is it going?

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Can we quantify the opportunities, benefits and risks of BEVs?

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How can BEV technology be implemented to unlock value drivers?

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Who should we partner with to bank this opportunity?

BEV Life of mine benefit methodology specification

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Review and dissect the anatomy of the underground mobile fleet

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Understand and optimise the mine design for BEVs

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Redesign ventilation & refrigeration system

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Assess, design & specify underground electrical infrastructure for BEVs

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Develop LOM costing model

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Roadmap to implement technology transition

Benefits of batteries


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  • Modularity & safety
  • Rugged & robust
  • Water & dust protection
  • OEM takes responsibility for batteries

As a service

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  • Define battery plan
  • Predictable running costs
  • Up-to-date technology
  • OEM takes responsibility for batteries

Our value assessment

Underground battery vehicles

Underground battery vehicles

State-of-the-art battery equipment selection

  • Vehicle specification
  • Performance matching
  • Capital & operational costs
  • Hauling simulation
  • Battery performance
  • Financing & operating service agreement

* Images courtesy of Epiroc

Electrical Infrastructure

Electrical infrastructure

Expert assessment & power solutions

  • Infrastructure assessment
  • Power requirements
  • Charging station & optimisation
  • Charging philosophy
  • Greenhouse / Carbon-footprint assessment
Battery technology

Battery technology

Forefront battery technology

  • Battery technology research & advancements
  • Battery performance & optimisation
  • Future-vision & assessment of battery technologies

Electrical infrastructure

Charging philosphy & equipment analysis

Charging philosophy & equipment analysis

  • Battery swop-out charging
  • On-board charging
  • Charging times
  • Number of charges required per level over LOM
  • Peak charger requirements
  • Assessment of underground electrical infrastructure
  • Charging station location
Power requirements & equipment design

Power requirements & equipment design

  • Mobile smart power charging situation design
  • Substation equipment specification
  • Charging station layout
  • Total estimated power
  • Substation rated capacity
  • Impact on electrical infrastructure underground & on surface
  • CapEx & OpEx costs

Ventilation assessment

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Heat reduction

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Cooling reduction


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Heat load

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Ventilation & refrigiration

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Exhaust fans

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Ventilation development

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Overall reduction in cost of ownership

Life-of-mine typical power assessment

Power Assessment Graph
Mobile Power Assessment Graph


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Cooling plant requirements

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Exhaust fan requirement

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Additional charging requirements

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Cost comparison

Cost Comparison Graph
Mobile Cost Comparison Graph
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Ventilation development

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Heat load

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Exhaust fans

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Other potential advantages


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  • Air quality
  • Working conditions
  • Automation
  • Vehicle efficiency
  • Mine safety


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  • Carbon-footprint & greenhouse gas emissions
  • Diesel particulate matter levels
  • Diesel storage & transporation
  • Fire risk
  • Noise, vibration & heat
  • Workshop requirements & spares holding
  • Maintenance costs