Global engineering group and original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) Sandvik has introduced what it says is the largest-capacity battery-electric truck for underground mining.
Offering a 65 t payload capacity, the Sandvik TH665B prototype is currently completing factory testing in California, in the US.
Sandvik said in a statement on March 3 that the finalisation of the trial agreement with mining services company Barminco and gold miner AngloGold Ashanti Australia would soon see the truck trialled at the Sunrise Dam gold mine, in Western Australia.
The aim of the trial is to prove the Sandvik TH665B’s viability in a long ramp haulage application before commercial production of the truck starts in late 2023.
Following the introduction of the Sandvik TH550B 50 t battery-electric vehicle (BEV) at MINExpo International in Las Vegas, US, last September, the continuation of the OEM’s BEV strategy will see it expanding its line of battery-electric trucks and loaders to include both larger and smaller size classes.
The Sandvik TH665B is engineered to improve productivity, sustainability and cost efficiency in bulk mining operations, the company said.
“Our 65 t battery-electric truck is our latest development in helping mass hard rock miners and contractors make the shift towards more productive, emission-free mining,” said Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions president Henrik Ager.
The TH665B blends Sandvik’s designs and advanced technology, built around electric drivelines and battery systems. Owing to its efficient electric driveline, a fully loaded Sandvik TH665B is expected to be up to 30% faster on a 1:7 ramp than a comparable conventional diesel underground truck.
Each of the truck’s four wheels is equipped with an independent drive, resulting in a simpler driveline, improved overall efficiency and maximum power output. The TH665B’s electric drivetrain delivers 640 kW of continuous power, enabling it to achieve high acceleration and fast ramp speeds.
The new truck is equipped with Sandvik’s patented self-swapping system, including the AutoSwap and AutoConnect functions, which enable quick and easy battery swap in a matter of minutes without any major infrastructure required, such as overhead cranes or other heavy handling equipment.
The TH665B also features a new battery-lifting system for improved reliability. Sandvik said it had redesigned the battery cage design to improve serviceability, enabling battery module changes without the need to remove the battery packs from the cage for services.
The new truck operator cabin uses the same design as the cabin of Sandvik’s Toro TH663i underground truck, offering premium operator ergonomics with a significant number of adjustment possibilities.
The cabin is also equipped with joystick steering, a large touchscreen colour display and the newest control system, providing easy access to equipment data.
Finally, the central oscillation frame design results in stability, while the front axle suspension ensures a smoother ride.