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Boliden AB, Epiroc and ABB have deployed the first fully operational battery-electric trolley truck system in Sweden, with a 13 per cent incline.

The milestone marks the mining industry getting closer to realising an all-electric mine that has sustainable and productive operations with improved working conditions.

The successful deployment took place along an 800m long underground mine test track at Boliden’s Kristineberg mine in northern Sweden.

“Over the past three years, we have worked in close collaboration with the ABB and Epiroc teams to bring the electric mine of the future one step closer,” Boliden general manager Boliden Area Peter Bergman said.

“The most important thing for us is of course that the technology works in our own operations, but we also see added value that we together with our partners can drive technology development so that the system can be used in other mines. We are proud to have taken this concept to a live instalment.”

Looking ahead, Boliden intends to implement a full scale, autonomous electric-trolley system at the Rävliden mine, which is a satellite orebody and extension of the Kristineberg mine.

To achieve this goal, Boliden has ordered four battery electric Minetruck MT42 SG Trolley trucks from Epiroc. The total distance will be 5km at a depth of 750m.

Epiroc recently added dynamic charging to its Minetruck MT42 SG and battery system, and the trolley system is equipped with ABB’s DC converter, HES880 inverter and AMXE motors to enhance the power.

ABB created the infrastructure from grid to wheel, including the electric trolley system design and the rectifier substation for the test track. The definition of standards and vehicle interface was jointly developed by the project partners.

Once achieved, the Rävliden mine will have less carbon emissions compared to a mine using conventional technology and will act as a new standard for mines.

“Together, in close partnerships we can accelerate the transformation and reach a steep curve in mining technology innovation like we have done in Kristineberg,” Epiroc president underground division Wayne Symes said.

“In a short space of time, we have implemented and delivered technology to not only reduce CO2 emissions, but substantially extend travel distance for battery electric driven vehicles on heavy ramp haulage, reduce operating costs, and improve the health and safety of mining environments.”