EVs are about to break new ground deep, deep under Sudbury – by John Michael McGrath (TVO Today – August 2, 2022)


Running diesel engines two kilometres belowground would be prohibitively expensive — so this mine is turning to battery power

It would be a lot easier if mining were just a matter of getting ore out from deep underground. But mining is done by miners, and those workers need air they can breathe.

As mining companies go deeper and deeper into the Earth searching for the minerals that go into steel and the other metals that make up modern life — including, now, high-capacity electric batteries — supplying something as basic as fresh air becomes more and more difficult.

That’s how mining giant Glencore found itself in the market for a new class of battery-powered electric vehicles to operate in its Onaping Depths mine, two kilometres underground. The company announced in 2017 that Onaping would be one of the world’s first all-electric mines.

If the company could keep diesel-burning engines out of its newest mine, the burden of cleaning and cooling the air would be greatly reduced — meaning that the air-handling equipment for the project could be substantially cheaper and simpler while keeping workers safe.

For the rest of this article: https://www.tvo.org/article/evs-are-about-to-break-new-ground-deep-deep-under-sudbury