Sunrise Dam mine in Western Australia will trial a Sandvik TH665B. (Photo: Sandvik)

An agreement between AngloGold Ashanti, contract miner Barminco, and Sandvik resulted in Western Australia’s Sunrise Dam mine trialing the Sandvik TH665B, the supplier’s largest battery-electric (BEV) underground mining truck. The trial started September 14.

As well as producing zero diesel emissions underground and generating 80% less heat, the TH665B is expected to be up to 25% faster than regular diesel trucks on a 1:7 ramp.

The truck uses lithium-iron phosphate battery technology. The electric driveline delivers 630 kW of continuous power, allowing for high acceleration and shorter cycle times.

Sandvik will have four local technicians on site who will support the machine throughout the trial and will provide operator and maintenance training to the teams on site.

Darren Kwok, head of electrification and technology for Barminco’s parent company Perenti, said he is excited to see what the new Sandvik BEV can achieve. “As a business we are focused on how we can support our clients to decarbonize their mines and trialing equipment to support this is a critical part of our strategy.”

The truck is expected to “improve the underground environment for mine workers and boost the efficiency of operations,” Kwok said. “With the longer haul ramps and the harsh Australian operating conditions, it will be put to the test.”

Sunrise Dam gold mine produces approximately 2.7 million mt of ore annually, which is supplemented by low-grade stockpiles generated during open cut mining to fill the processing plant.