THE ELECTRIC MINE

Eliminating diesel creates a safer working environment and reduces the costs of ventilation, heat generation, maintenance and more. The electric mine has also been identified as a commercially viable way to achieve these benefits and to reduce our industry’s ecological footprint. This working group is a global community that aims to accelerate the adoption of all-electric technologies in mining and address the challenges associated with it through collaboration and information sharing. 

INDUSTRY IMPORTANCE

The mining industry relies on fossil fuels, namely diesel, to drive business. However, they are expensive and limited resources and have been proven to pose health hazards.  For example, diesel emissions are classified as ‘Group 1: carcinogenic to humans’ by the World Health Organization. 

Electric mine technologies offer multiple advantages: 

  • A safer work environment
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Minimized environmental impacts
  • Enhanced productivity, efficiency and performance

While there are many benefits, there are also multiple challenges that come with them, including energy consumption modelling, operational and infrastructure adaptations and change management.

ABOUT THE WORKING GROUP

The Electric Mine Working Group was launched in response to a global industry and social demand to move toward more sustainable energy-sources and find alternative solutions to fossil fuels. Safer and more efficient, productive and cost-effective mines are expected outcomes of this transition. The group is a global community of subject matter experts, operators and leaders from inside and outside the mining industry and those interested in advancing all-electric technologies in their operations. 

Objectives

  • Accelerate the advancement and adoption of electric mining technologies by sharing data, best practices, models and cross-learning
  • Enable a global community of practice to drive valuable conversations, share lived examples and find collaborative solutions to key challenges
  • Oversee projects that deliver high-quality material on electric mining technologies

Key topics

  • Potential risks of electric equipment
  • Fire prevention and suppression
  • Battery management
  • Safety around electric equipment
  • Analyzing electric equipment based on performance, cost and requirements

ACTIVE PROJECTS

Electric Mine Operational Knowledge Share Project

This project will enable a neutral platform for the industry to monitor, track and record electric equipment utilization. Additionally, it will provide best practices, lessons learned and root causes. Learn more.

Recommended Practices for BEVs in Mining - 3rd Edition

There is a continued urgency to reduce greenhouse gases and growing industry interest in adopting battery-electric technologies for underground and surface mining. The project will enable the industry to adopt electric vehicles in their mine operations and/or enhance their current process in BEVs and battery charging. Learn more.

GMG Publications

2020 June | Electric Mine Operational Knowledge Sharing Platform Summary of Survey Results and Workshop Outcomes

A survey that was open between April and June 2020 with 95 respondents (as of June 9) and workshops held on May 7 and May 20 aimed to define priorities for the GMG Electric Mine Operational Knowledge Sharing Platform project. This project aims to create a neutral platform to capture performance data for electric surface and underground equipment based on the industry’s knowledge and experience. Click here to read.

GMG Guideline Underground Mining BEV2018 Nov | Recommended Best Practices for Battery Electric Vehicles in Underground Mining – 2nd Edition (see also: Underground Mining Working Group)

This guideline outlines the recommended practices for using battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in an underground mining environment. It is structured as a specification and can be included in mining companies’ tender documents to mining vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Click here to access guideline

The Electric Mine Videos

Battery Electric Vehicles in Mining Version 3 (Video)

The Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have seen many advancements in the past two years. Further, there is a continued urgency around reducing greenhouse gases and a growing industry interest in adopting battery electric technologies, in both the underground and surface communities. Advancements such as the greater variety of battery chemistries on the market, changing ventilation requirements and varied charging philosophies need to be captured and recorded based on real operating experiences. The project aims to update the previous version of the guideline leveraging lessons learned, particularly related to safety and maintenance, and accommodating technology advancements. It will also add information to provide valuable guidance to the surface mining community. Click here to watch.

Lithium battery thermal runaway pressure in sealed enclosures (Video)

Thomas Dubaniewicz, general engineer at NIOSH, presents about a recent research on lithium batteries. Click here to watch.

GMG Project: Electric Mine Operational Knowledge Sharing Platform (Video)

The GMG Electric Mine Operational Knowledge Sharing Platform project aims to create a neutral platform to capture performance data for electric surface and underground equipment based on the industry’s knowledge and experience. Currently, many mining companies are deploying or testing electric vehicles to learn how to best utilize them and how to plan for it.  Click here to watch.

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