Glencore buys Epiroc mining fleet for Onaping underground

Manufacturer to test battery-electric surface drill rig in Sweden

Epiroc has become the second mining equipment manufacturer in a month to announce a significant sale to Glencore’s Onaping Depth underground nickel project in Ontario, Canada.

The Swedish company said Glencore had ordered US$10 million-plus of battery-electric equipment and automation “solutions” for what is set to become one of the world’s first all-electric mines in 2024. Epiroc will supply 23 machines, including underground trucks, loaders, development and production drills, and rock reinforcement rigs.

Canadian company MacLean Engineering last month said it would supply battery-electric ancillary vehicles to the US$1 billion Onaping Depth project.

“Epiroc scored high on safety, design and testing of the entire battery system,” said Peter Xavier, vice president of Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations.

“Epiroc also offers large capacity batteries, uses a standard CCS charging protocol, has a battery swap system, and the designs are universal and compatible. Also, the batteries have integrated cooling systems and safety systems built into the design.”

The ordered battery-electric equipment is manufactured at Epiroc’s factory at Orebro in Sweden.

Meanwhile, Epiroc says it has reached an agreement with Swedish construction company Skanska to field test the world’s first battery-electric surface drill rig, “a milestone in the journey towards zero-emission drilling in surface mines and quarries around the world”.

The manufacturer says the battery-powered version of its proven SmartROC T35 surface drill rig will be tested at a quarry near Stockholm in September this year.


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