Glencore’s new Onaping Depth mine will need an underground refrigeration system and smaller diameter tunnels to keep the costs down
The process of going from diesel-powered underground mining to battery-electric mining is now a foregone conclusion for most Northern Ontario mine operators, but there are going to be plenty of growing pains.
That was one of the messages that came out of the Global Mining Guidelines Group forum held in Sudbury on Sept. 12 to examine the job of converting underground mines to full battery electric operations.
Speaker Keith Bowness, the innovation manager at Glencore, talked at length about the many decisions that have to be made in providing all-electric mobile equipment in the new Onaping Depth mine, now being developed below the former Craig Mine.
The title of his talk was “Our First Electrified Mine, and We Are Going All In.” Bowness said something seemingly as simple as choosing specific mobile equipment and batteries took a significant amount of testing and analysis before choices were made.