GMG Releases Recommended Practices for Battery Electric Vehicles in Underground Mining, Version 3 – International Mining

Posted by Paul Moore on Jun 23, 2022

Mining companies cite a few different reasons for focusing on the adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in their operations, including corporate carbon reduction goals or the activation of very deep mines. Whatever their reason, the Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) claims that its Recommended Practices for Battery Electric Vehicles in Underground Mines – Version 3 is the playbook that can help them achieve their goals because it shares lessons learned and proven practices found across the industry.

This guideline is intended to provide guidance and a general discussion of the advantages, disadvantages and planning requirements for the design and implementation of a fleet of BEVs in an existing or new mine. It aims to strike an appropriate balance between standardization and innovation by providing key considerations, questions to ask and advice on where to seek additional information.

Maarten van Koppen, Product Manager at MacLean Engineering and one of the project managers, explains: “The third revision of the BEV guidelines provides an updated and comprehensive overview of the BEV application in underground mining. I think this is a very useful resource for mining engineers or any other mining professional tasked with considering “going electric” for their operation or project. MacLean is proud to contribute to this industry initiative, as we believe that electric underground mining equipment is the key to healthier and safer workplaces, a reduced environmental footprint and, ultimately, better value for the customer.

Cailli Knievel, Head of Mine Planning at AngloGold Ashanti Australia and a participant in the guideline’s peer review, is one such user who has found the guideline a useful reference as her company embarks on its decarbonisation journey. “As a non-expert on the subject, I found the guideline an excellent reference,” she says, “The information on charging options and other detailed design considerations was incredibly helpful.”

The third version offers several expansions and content additions, including:

  • New and expanded safety, hazard and emergency response content, especially related to battery fires and thermal runaway.
  • New and expanded maintenance content, including maintenance area design, charging system and maintenance, as well as equipment maintenance and service area design.
  • Expanded content on developing the business case.
  • New sections on automated login interfaces.

Improved navigability and structure are also key features of this release, which Knievel appreciated in his review: “The guideline layout was also a bonus – I was able to walk through the main points of the layout of the table before a meeting on short notice, before reading the document more in depth when I had more time.

Anders Lindkvist, Responsible for the development of technological innovation at Epiroc and a member of the project’s steering committee, suggests: “The BEV guideline is a very good textbook for the implementation of battery-powered machinery in underground mining. I recommend anyone at Epiroc who is starting to work with BEV to read the guidelines. This gives good basic technical knowledge and a client/user perspective of the subject.

The third version amplifies the mining industry’s commitment to reducing environmental impact, improving workplace safety and adopting new technologies to propel the industry forward.

“Siemens commends the industry for its commitment to implementing the BEV Version 3 guidelines as a positive step towards carbon neutrality,” said Thiago Amaral, Director of Enterprise Sales – Siemens Digital Industries Software, Siemens Canada and member of the project steering committee. “New technologies, backed by strong leadership practices, are the way forward to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint while improving the health and safety of mine workers.

“The first two versions of this guideline have truly marked the industry. We’ve heard from users and participants that they believe this has helped advance the development of underground battery electric vehicles,” said GMG CEO Heather Ednie. “Thank you to our dedicated volunteers for ensuring that this guideline continues to be a valuable tool for the industry as adoption grows and technology evolves.”

GMG asys it invites all industry stakeholders to share their feedback on how they use the guideline and recommendations for improvement in future iterations.

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