CHAPLEAU – Goldcorp’s next Northern Ontario mine is on track to managing environmental impacts to an entirely new level. The Borden Gold Project, which is set to begin construction next year near Chapleau, may be the world’s first-ever diesel-free hard rock mine. They are accomplishing this by utilizing the latest in battery-powered mining equipment.
Marc Lauzier, the manager of Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines, said the move toward what he characterizes as a “green mine” has been in the works for many years, and is likely the way of the future for the industry.
“We’re trying to build a mine that is as environmentally-friendly as possible. And part of that decision is to not utilize diesel equipment. So we’re using electric and battery powered equipment instead.” explained Lauzier. “I’ve been looking into this stuff for the past 10 years. Borden is a new project in an environmentally pristine area, so it’s opened us up to think differently.
Among the many pieces of equipment being purchased, Borden Mine will be utilizing a new series of battery-powered underground equipment manufactured by MacLean Engineering, called the EV Series. Although Goldcorp has already purchased battery-powered bolters and utility trucks from MacLean, the EV Series itself is so new, it was only officially unveiled last week at a mining industry show in Las Vegas.
The manufacturer’s president, Kevin MacLean, said he is excited to see the company’s new line of products getting its first use in an ambitious environmentally-friendly project.
“Goldcorp is a longstanding customer and so a fitting inaugural home for our battery power fleet. What’s more, this is a world-class project that is setting the bar in the mining industry: improving the working conditions of miners, making the extraction of certain ore bodies economically viable, and driving technology investment by OEMs like MacLean,” MacLean told The Daily Press.
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