Sandvik and Barrick partner for battery electric vehicle future

November 19, 2020

Sandvik and Barrick have signed a partnership agreement for trialing and enhancing Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) for underground hard rock mining.

During a three-year production trial, Sandvik will deploy four Artisan Z50 BEV trucks at the Turquoise Ridge gold mine, part of the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture (JV). Barrick is the operator of the JV, which is the single-largest gold-producing complex in the world, forecast to produce a total of 3.4-3.65 million ounces of gold during 2020.

The Z50 haul truck, with a 50-tonne (55-ton) payload capacity, is a ground-up design that seamlessly integrates the most capable and proven battery electric powertrain available in the mining industry with the latest and most coveted features of any haul truck on the market today.

The Z50 truck is equipped with AutoSwap, a patented self-swapping system for the Artisan battery pack. Battery swapping is made fast and easy with a minimum amount of manual handling: changing the battery only takes about six minutes, and it can be done in a passing bay or old re-muck bay with no overhead cranes or external infrastructure needed.

In phase 1 trials, the Z50 truck already achieved more than 1,400 hours of production with over 1,400 loads. It reached production operating up to 18 hours per day. Speeds of over 10km/h (6 mph) were also observed on the ramp to the tip. Some of the key performance indicators in the new partnership will include the performance of the BEV technology in a production environment, mechanical availability, average lifecycle cost and overall production cost.

“We are always looking at ways to improve our performance, both in terms of sustainability and operational efficiency,” said Mark Bristow, Barrick’s President and CEO. “This partnership with Sandvik is exciting and will give us first-hand experience in BEV technology in our own production environment. It is a significant step to furthering our BEV strategy across the group.”

“I am very pleased that Barrick and Sandvik have teamed up to perform these extensive trials in a daily production environment,” said Henrik Ager, President Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology. “It gives us the possibility to prove the performance of our BEV technology. The purely battery-powered truck helps to reduce heat and emissions underground, helping mines reach their sustainability targets and reduce ventilation costs. This raises the bar for what is possible and enables an all-new level of production and cost reduction for underground hard rock mines.”

A dedicated site project team will be jointly working with the Barrick operations team during the trial period to ensure that all data is captured and the experience from both Sandvik and Barrick is utilized to ensure the uptime and productivity targets are met.



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