Skip to content
Home » News » The road to fossil free mines

The road to fossil free mines

Global technology company ABB is working with mining company Boliden and mining and infrastructure equipment manufacturer Epiroc to develop and demonstrate an electric trolley truck system on a test track at Boliden’s Kristineberg mine in northern Sweden.

Epiroc’s Minetruck MT42 Battery model will be part of the electric trolley truck system development project. Image credit: Epiroc

Epiroc’s Minetruck MT42 Battery model will be part of the electric trolley truck system development project. Image credit: Epiroc

The development project by the three companies will enable heavy transportation with electric driven battery vehicles and is expected to lower CO₂ emissions and improve the work environment at the underground copper-zinc mine.

The system will build on Epiroc’s zero emissions mining haul truck Minetruck MT42 Battery and is highly suitable for long haul ramps. It will feature a trolley pantograph which is to be connected to an overhead contact power line.

ABB will provide the electric trolley truck system design, definition of standards and vehicle interface, as well as rectifier substation for the test track. The electrical infrastructure is part of the ABB Ability eMine integrated portfolio of electrification and digital systems designed to accelerate the decarbonisation of the mining sector.

The announcement follows a call from ABB earlier in 2021 for more collaboration between original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the key technology suppliers. ABB is working with some of the world’s most innovative mining customers, OEMs and technology innovators and is committed to playing a fundamental role in the transition towards zero emissions in mining operations.

This project is supported by funding from the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova and will contribute to Boliden’s vision to be the most climate friendly and respected metals provider in the world.

All three partners have clear corporate goals that support more sustainable operations, aiming to help mines improve sustainable production and meet growing metals demand around the world.

Previously, ABB designed, delivered, and commissioned an effective electrical infrastructure to power several mine trucks at Boliden AB’s Aitik mine, Sweden’s largest open-pit copper mine.

“We are very proud to enter this collaboration and are excited to jointly take the next steps on Boliden’s journey towards a fossil free, automated underground mine. Our electrification solutions are well proven globally and contribute to substantial reduction of CO₂ emissions, leading to a smaller environmental footprint,” says Lars Bergkvist, global key customer manager with Epiroc’s Underground division.

“ABB is supporting mining companies’ electrification strategies by working together with OEMs, such as Epiroc, and many other technology innovators to build an interoperable system and help fast-track the development of emissions-reducing systems,” says Max Luedtke, global head of mining, ABB.

“No company can do this alone and through our recently-launched ABB Ability eMine portfolio we can ensure electrification and automation of the whole mining operation, combining solutions with others to lower CO₂ and move towards a more sustainable society.”

“As part of the eMine™ framework and commitment, we can combine expertise to successfully integrate electrification in mines, and we’re proud to see this being pioneered in Sweden with some of the industry’s foremost companies.” said Björn Jonsson, Hub Manager, Process Industries at ABB. “We contribute with solutions that further reduce overall costs and improve mine performance while significantly lowering environmental impact.”

Boliden has a target to implement full scale electric-trolley systems in the Rävliden mine, a satellite orebody and extension of the Kristineberg mine.