Glencore shares investigation findings from summer 2020 electric arcing event and intense fire at Craig Mine
When a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) caught fire underground at Glencore’s Craig Mine in Onaping last July, it was a “big eye-opener” for the company, said Steve Holmik.
“No one’s ever had to deal with an incident like this in the past,” said Holmik, a mobile equipment specialist with Glencore Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (SINO), who estimated this was the first reported underground BEV fire in Canada, and perhaps globally.
“We’ve had diesel equipment catch on fire, but we’ve never had a battery-electric vehicle catch on fire, so up until that stage, everything we knew about the potential of a fire with a BEV was all theoretical. We’d never had the first-hand experience of having to deal with it.”
That changed on July 6, 2020, around 10:40 p.m., while two technicians were troubleshooting solutions for a stalled BEV on the 47-4 level of Craig Mine at the company’s Onaping Depth Project.
A sudden, high-intensity electrical arcing event took place, catching the vehicle on fire and trapping the two workers behind the truck with no way to get out.