Recent truck launches cater to both ends of the underground haulage spectrum
What sets one mine apart from another are the site-specific conditions. These are dictated largely by geology and to a lesser degree by mining methods. When it comes to hauling ore with rubber-tired equipment, sometimes a smaller truck is more advantageous. Reverse the situation with no restrictions, then economies of scale rule and the largest truck provides the greatest advantage.
Two recently introduced underground mine trucks cover both ends of the size spectrum: the French company Aramine just unveiled its smallest mine truck, the T500D mineDumper designed for narrow-vein operations; while Atlas Copco rolled out its massive Minetruck 65 at MINExpo 2016.
Narrow vein mining requires less capital investment and allows faster return on the investment. Compliance with regulations in terms of safety and ergonomics is also motivating mining companies to develop narrow vein mining. These are important considerations with the recent swings metal prices and raw material costs.