Gold Fields to trial Sandvik EVs in production study

Gold Fields’ St Ives operation will become the first Australian mine to receive the new Sandvik LH518B 18-tonne BEV (battery electric vehicle) underground loader.  The operation will also receive an Artisan Z50 50-tonne BEV truck, and both vehicles will work in the Hamlet North mine as part of a major production study over the next two years.

The battery electric technology used by the vehicles eliminates underground emissions and significantly reduces heat and noise compared to diesel vehicles.  Sandvik’s AutoSwap self-swapping battery system allows for a fresh battery to be installed in under six minutes for the Z50 and LH518B, delivering a major advantage over ‘fast-recharge’ battery vehicles.

Gold Fields’ Australia operations vice president Graeme Ovens said the company had been interested in exploring the potential of BEVs for a long time.

“We travelled around the world looking at different suppliers and we came to the conclusion that Sandvik was ahead of the market with their concepts and what they were doing,” he said.

If the trial delivers strong results, Ovens expects such vehicles will become widely used across Gold Fields’ operations.  Gold Fields is due to take delivery of the Z50 in the next few weeks and the LH518B in December.

Gold Fields a Finalist in State Government’s Gecko Awards

Australia’s largest hybrid renewable microgrid system powering the Agnew goldmine near Leinster has been shortlisted for a prestigious annual award recognising projects of environmental excellence.  Agnew was yesterday revealed as one of three projects in WA shortlisted for the State Government’s Golden Gecko Award.

The award recognises innovation in environmental management, and provides an opportunity to share experiences between government, industry and the community.  In it’s 30th year, the award has so far recognised more than 60 projects for demonstrating outstanding performance and positive environmental outcomes for WA.

The Agnew microgrid is a partnership between the mine owners Gold Fields and global energy producer EDL.  With five wind turbines, a solar farm, a battery system and an off-grid gas and diesel power plant, the hybrid renewable project has a generation capacity of 56MW, offsetting an estimated 46,300 tonnes of carbon annually.  The project delivers an average of 50-60 per cent of Agnew’s power requirements with renewable energy.

The 110m-high wind turbines with a rotor diameter of 140m contribute up to 18MW and make Agnew the first mine site in Australia to use wind-generated electricity.  State Mines Minister Bill Johnston said the awards recognised projects that had set new standards in the industry.