Mining’s future is electric – Atlas Copco

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  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

Atlas Copco is to target zero-emission underground mining, with future development to focus on battery-driven machinery.


Atlas Copco Electric Scooptram EST1030
Atlas Copco Electric Scooptram EST1030

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"Our customers’ future is electric," Atlas Copco Underground Rock Excavation Division president Andreas Nordbrandt says, adding that the Swedish company has immediate plans to expand its current portfolio of electric mining equipment including loaders, drill rigs and mine trucks such as the Electric Scooptram EST1030 pictured above.

This is despite others in the earthmoving industry such as Construction Equipment Association (CEA) consultant Alex Woodrow saying that we are not yet ready to go electric and that ‘clean’ diesel should remain the dominant fuel for the foreseeable future.

"It's high time to look forward and leave fossil fuels behind," Nordbrandt says. "We must consider the mining industry's carbon footprint and assume our responsibility as an industry leader."

Atlas Copco says it will continue to support all customers who rely on diesel-driven equipment but the decision to completely advance beyond diesel is a "definitive move".

The company says its electric-powered loaders, trucks and drill rigs have been extensively tested in the field and the machines currently on offer have proven that this technology is ready to take over.

"Zero emission machines already offer the same or even better performance as diesel, and this is only the beginning; productivity and profitability will only improve from here," Atlas Copco global marketing manager electrification Erik Svedlund says.

"Our goal is zero-emission mining. We can achieve that through a commitment to science and technology. This is a power change that changes everything."

The company is putting the final touches on the next battery-powered models, Nordbrandt says, emphasising that the company firmly sees electric vehicles as the future in underground mining.

"Besides the lower running cost of the machines themselves, there are considerable savings to be had in ventilation and cooling," he says. "But most importantly, electric machines contribute to a safer and healthier work environment for miners everywhere."


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