Fleet Electrification - Vale Base Metals

2019

Alex Mulloy, Vale; Samantha Espley, Vale, Technology & Innovation Centre; Trevor Courchesne, Vale, Technology & Innovation Centre

Vale's Base Metals operations are looking to electric vehicles as a technology to help us reduce our environmental impact, reduce green house gas emissions, increase productivity & stay relevant in an evolving technological landscape.  Finding alternative ways to power heavy equipment has been in development for quite some time. In particular, Vale is no stranger to the electrification of its underground equipment fleet, with the first tethered electric LHD going underground at Creighton Mine in 1976. Vale’s movement toward electrification continued with the re-opening of Crean Hill Mine in 1987, which was our flagship all-electric mine of the ages. Much like the abandonement of the electric car in the 1990’s, our involvement with underground electric equipment faded as diesel technology took the industry by storm. Fast forwarding 30 years later, we are now on the verge of an industry wide transformation toward battery powered equipment, thanks to advances in technology and changing economic conditions. With zero emissions, less noise, decreased operating temperatures and equivalent performance characteristics, you may be asking yourself – why power your fleet any other way?
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