Ditching diesel for electric

By |  November 3, 2018
David Garofalo addresses the 2018 International Mining & Resources Conference.

David Garofalo addresses the 2018 International Mining & Resources Conference. Photo courtesy of the International Mining & Resources Conference.

A gold mining company’s transformation from diesel mobile equipment to electric provides a glimpse of technology that may come to the aggregate industry in the coming years.

Goldcorp, a gold production company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is replacing all diesel mobile equipment with electric vehicles through its Borden Project to deliver environmental, health and safety, and economic benefits.

Located in Chapleau, Ontario, Canada, the Borden Project is currently in a feasibility phase, with final permits expected by the end of this year. Goldcorp’s mine of the future is expected to be in production before the end of 2019.

The company expects its electric mine to deliver a 70 percent smaller carbon footprint over conventional technologies. Goldcorp will also reduce noise pollution, the risk of hydrocarbon spills and fires and eliminate exhaust fumes, resulting in lower capital and operating costs.

The shift to battery electric vehicles was nearing a tipping point for the mining industry, one company executive says.

“There are wide-reaching benefits – and not just for mining, but similar industrial industries like cement, construction,” says David Garofalo, Goldcorp president and CEO, speaking at the International Mining & Resources Conference in Melbourne, Australia. “The technology will soon meet the needs of [a] larger application now that Borden has chosen to make all-electric a reality.”

In addition to electric vehicles, several other technologies have been incorporated into the mine design.

“Borden is a ‘connected mine’ with real-time knowledge of where people, equipment and work is being done at all times,” Garofalo says. “This enhances safety and productivity.”

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