Codelco Tests South America’s First Battery-electric LHD

Codelco is testing a battery-electric Epiroc LHD at the Diablo Regimiento underground mine, which is part of the company’s El Teniente Division. The one-year pilot program will validate the machine’s power, functionality and energy consumption.

In addition to reducing direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 100%, its maintenance cost are expected to be 60% lower, and the working conditions underground will improve. “Starting with the first training sessions for the pilot test, I noticed the difference in terms of quality of life. It is not necessary to use hearing protection, because the noise levels are minimal. In addition, the transfer is smoother, there are almost no vibrations compared to diesel powered machines,” said Miguel Ángel Madrid, who has been operating LHDs for 12 years.

“It is important to consider these developments for underground mining,” André Sougarret, executive president of Codelco said. “One of our 2030 commitments is to reduce our carbon footprint by 70%. An important aspect for achieving this goal is to electrify our mining fleets underground and on the surface.”

As featured in Womp 2022 Vol 12 -