Underground metal mines can generate significant revenues in Canada. In 2010, they provided $7.4 billion to the Canadian economy. For the industry to remain competitive, operating costs must be lowered, such as ventilation expenses related to underground extraction processes.
Underground mining diesel-powered vehicles emit pollutants and require extremely high underground ventilation costs. The deeper the mines, the more expensive the ventilation systems are, representing over 40% of total operating costs.
Several active mines have deeper deposits that may be accessible, but with conventional technologies, there would be no ROI. Electrification of underground mining vehicles would allow new sites to be exploited and existing sites to continue operating for a longer duration at lower operating costs. Health and wellness of workers is also a major part of the equation.
TM4 has supplied its SUMO MD heavy duty electric powertrain systems to stone crusher vehicles. Its direct drive approach allows the whole architecture to be simplified by removing the transmission and providing 3400 Nm of torque directly to the rear axle differential.