Torex Gold Resources selected Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions for a hybrid 35-unit fleet for the Media Luna project in Mexico. The order includes 15 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) for production mining and 20 pieces of conventional equipment for development.

The BEVs, 11 Toro LH518iB loaders and four DD422iE twin-boom jumbos, will be delivered in 2023.

The LH518iB loaders will muck from stopes in six main underground zones and dump into ore passes, with a conveyor transporting ore through a 7-km tunnel to the processing plant at El Limón Guajes. The automation-capable loaders will help Torex maximize utilization by reducing the need for operators to travel through the tunnel. Mobile charge stations and minimal infrastructure requirements will increase the customer’s flexibility to use, charge and relocate the BEVs throughout life of mine, Sandvik said.

“This milestone order demonstrates that both BEVs and conventional diesel mining equipment can not only coexist in today’s underground mine but deliver value in different circumstances and applications,” said Mats Eriksson, president, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions. “We are proud to support Torex on its journey to operate a world-class mine with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.”

The conventional equipment ordered includes loaders, trucks, bolters, production drills and a raiseborer, and will be delivered through 2025.

Torex expects to bring Media Luna into commercial production in early 2025, ramping up to 7,500 metric tons (mt) per day by 2027 and creating one of Mexico’s largest underground mines.

Separately, Sandvik reported it sold a fleet of 27 trucks, loaders and drills for AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine in Ghana. The contract includes five Sandvik DD421 development drills, five Toro LH517i loaders, four Toro LH410 loaders, four Toro TH663i trucks, three Toro LH621i loaders, two Toro TH430 trucks, two Sandvik DS421 cable bolters and two Sandvik DD321 development drills.

Delivery is scheduled to begin in March 2023 and continue through 2024.

The order is part of an effort by the miner to fully mechanize operations in the mine, Obuasi mine said. “This is a world-class orebody that continues to have huge potential after more than a century of mining,” said Eric Asubonteng, managing director. “By continuing with the introduction of a fleet of modern underground equipment equipped with the latest technologies, we have an even brighter future ahead of us.”

Obuasi production is expected to average 350,000 to 400,000 gold oz annually for the next 10 years before ramping up to 400,000 to 450,000 oz/year for the following decade.