Mining companies and OEM suppliers alike strive to develop responsible mining practices, with safe and cost-effective production. One major step in this quest is to reduce diesel-powered equipment underground, which has a positive impact on environment, health and safety, and also brings a big reduction in costs of ventilation.
Goldcorp, a leading gold producer with production throughout the Americas, is working with Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology to make its Borden Lake project one of the world’s first all-electric mines.
Borden Lake, located in the Canadian province of Ontario, is part of a pipeline of organic growth projects in Goldcorp’s portfolio. In 2015, Goldcorp announced indicated resources of 1.6 million ounces of gold at Borden Lake. As part of the development process, Goldcorp committed to making Borden Lake the world’s first all-electric mine in order to ensure a higher standard of health and safety for employees and reduce both environmental impact and capital costs. Development at Borden Lake is scheduled to begin in early 2017. Goldcorp has selected Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology to provide a complete electric solution, including development of equipment for the Borden Lake mine.
One of the equipment models already ordered for this project is Sandvik DD422iE, displayed at the Sandvik booth at MINExpo INTERNATIONAL 2016 in Las Vegas. By using electric energy from an on-board battery during tramming, Sandvik DD422iE produces zero emissions while maneuvering between headings. This improves health and safety for miners working underground. Less diesel usage in a mine thanks to diesel-free drilling can ease ventilation requirements, while also reducing associated diesel logistics and maintenance expenses. Using the mine’s existing electric infrastructure, the Sandvik driveline technology enables the battery to recharge during the drilling cycle. The battery will even recharge while Sandvik DD422iE is tramming downhill, using energy generated by the braking system. The long-lasting pack will power the drill efficiently throughout its lifetime.
Goldcorp has a long-term vision to develop the Borden Lake Mine to be one of the most environmentally friendly mines in the world. It has selected Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology to help develop technologies and equipment to meet this goal. A collaborative effort between Sandvik and Goldcorp will occur in the first years of the mine development to help ensure optimal solutions to achieving a truly green mine.
“This is truly a mutually beneficial relationship between Sandvik and Goldcorp where both companies have put a plan together to advance the technology needed for the project over the next 3 years,” Rakochy says.