Tim Hewitt, Gold Fields’ Vice President Technical and Sami Niiranen, President of Epiroc’s Underground division at the signing of the MoU at Gold Fields’ Perth Offices (November 30, 2022).

Gold Fields Australia and Epiroc formally entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to partner on the development of the next generation of underground mine trucks. The companies will test a proof of concept for the Minetruck MT65 E-Drive with the aim of having a prototype at Gold Fields’ Granny Smith mine in Western Australia at the beginning of 2024.

Gold Fields’ Executive Vice President Stuart Mathews highlighted the alignment of sustainability targets as a key driver for the partnership. “Gold Fields is committed to its decarbonization targets and we have been a leader in the Australian mining sector at integrating renewable energy and battery storage into our operations,” Mathews said. “This agreement with Epiroc broadens that emissions reduction focus to our underground vehicles and equipment.”

A diesel-electric mine truck combines a traditional combustion engine with electric drive system technology, providing the opportunity to significantly reduce the amount of diesel used across a mine’s fleet and increase operational productivity.

“We are proud to partner with Gold Fields in the development of a future-proof, low-emission mine truck in the large segment that will support them in reducing their emissions as well as overall TCO, without compromising on safety and productivity,” said Sami Niiranen, President of Epiroc’s Underground division.

The Gold Fields project team will now work with Epiroc’s R&D team in the Underground division, headquartered at the Orebro, Sweden-based facilities to review development and plan the trial phases.