Climate neutrality and sustainability are also issues in the mining sector. Solutions for this were presented at Minexpo.
How sustainable a product is is also determined by the origin of the raw materials used in its manufacture. The same applies to mining, which extracts materials such as rare earths or ores that are necessary for the energy and transportation transition. In this industry, too, there are numerous efforts towards sustainability and climate neutrality. Minexpo 2021 in Las Vegas showcased some of them.
Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar (Cat) showed the R1700 XE, a battery-powered skid steer loader whose performance is identical to that of the diesel version, but whose zero-emission operation gives it a major advantage for underground use. With Cat’s mobile charging station, the battery can also be recharged in half an hour. Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce presented a concept that turns conventional dump trucks into hybrid vehicles by retrofitting them. CO2 emissions are then said to be up to 25 percent lower.
The Swedish-Swiss group ABB also wants to participate in the transformation of the mining sector. The eMine solution is designed to electrify mine operations. Overhead lines will then supply the heavy trucks with electrical power, as is already the case at the Aitik mine in northern Sweden. According to ABB, complete electrification of all mining trucks could save 198,000 tons of CO2 per day that would otherwise be released into the air we breathe.
Photo: iStock/ buranatrakul