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Byrnecut will team up with Sandvik to develop new diesel-electric mining equipment such as underground loaders and trucks featuring electric drivetrains.

The partnership aims to create equipment that matches Byrnecut’s specific capability requirements, boost sustainability, and help optimise underground operations.

Byrnecut will collaborate with Sandvik on the design of the machines and provide feedback at various testing stages, including pre-factory testing, operational testing and trial testing.

“Diesel-electric equipment has a proven ability to combine the low-maintenance benefits of electric machines with the flexibility of diesel,” Byrnecut Australia managing director Pat Boniwell said.

“We have a long association with Sandvik and we’re pleased to be providing input and feedback that will help shape the new Sandvik diesel-electric range. We’re also looking forward to passing benefits of this collaboration on to our customers.”

The agreement was signed by both companies during the 2024 Electric Mine conference in Perth, which took place from May 21–23.

The conference serves as an opportunity for original equipment manufacturers, mining service suppliers, engineers and consultants to showcase innovative solutions that will enable mining companies to achieve their interim and net-zero targets by 2050.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions president Mats Eriksson said it’s likely the mining industry will have multiple technologies coexisting in the future.

“An immediate switch to full battery-electric isn’t feasible for every operation,” Eriksson said. “We have extensive expertise in both battery-electric and conventional diesel technology within Sandvik, and we believe combining this expertise will lead to new productive solutions for our customers.

“We’re delighted that Byrnecut is sharing its knowledge of underground and will provide feedback to help us develop the best diesel-electric loaders and trucks.”

Boniwell echoed similar sentiments.

“It’s likely the transition to battery-electric will be a gradual process with both electric, diesel and potentially diesel-electric machines operating side by side in the meantime,” Boniwell said.