Electrification Alternatives for Open Pit Mine Haulage
- Dynamic charging BT systems;
- Stationary charging BT systems;
- Dual trolley BT systems.
2. Decarbonization and Mining Challenges
2.1. World Energy Outlook in Carbon Emissions
2.2. Australian Mining Sector Emissions
2.3. Renewable Energy Development
2.4. Technology Trends
2.5. Mining Challenges
- Greater depths and lower grades: Open pit mining depths have significantly expanded over the last two decades. Some open pit mines go down more than 1000 m in depth . It is worth noting that future deposit extraction will inevitably be conducted at greater depths and lower grades compared to current practices, and this tendency is anticipated to continue [11,12].
- High operating cost: As mines become deeper and stripping ratios increase with a lower grade, more waste material needs to be extracted. The haulage truck fleet grows correspondingly, requiring more operators and maintenance staff and a subsequent increase in diesel consumption [12,13,14]. In addition, as copper ore grades decline, more ore needs to be processed to attain similar metal production. A decrease in copper ore grade between 0.2% to 0.4% requires seven times more energy than present-day operations [15,16]. Reducing the cost of truck haulage, which makes up about half of the operating expenses of a mining operation, is now more essential than ever .
- Fuel price volatility: Fossil fuel price volatility significantly impacts mining viability but is outside the control of most miners . Figure 4 shows historical Australia diesel Terminal Gate Price (TGP) data. In the short term, the price of fossil fuels shows a propensity towards volatility, while it shows a significant rise from the long-term perspective.
- Safety and productivity are indicators to measure system implementation scenarios.
- Energy efficiency, CAPEX, OPEX, maintenance requirements, service life, additional infrastructure requirements and heat generation are system financial metrics.
- Emissions and environmental footprint (noise/dust/DPM/vibration) are system environmental parameters.
- Flexibility, Capacity, Scalability, Refuelling/Recharging/Swapping methods are system productivity parameters.
4. Conventional Truck-Shovel Systems
4.1. Conventional Truck-Shovel System Operating Process
4.2. Truck-Shovel Systems’ Characteristics
- Ease of implementation
- High flexibility
- High scalability
- High operating costs
- CO2 and diesel particular emissions
- Labour force shortage
- Fuel price volatility
- Safety risks
4.3. Truck-Shovel Systems’ Energy Consumption
5. Electrification Alternatives for Open Pit Mine Haulage
5.1. In-Pit Crushing and Conveying Systems
5.1.1. IPCC Systems’ Configurations
- Fixed In-pit Crushing and Conveying systems (F-IPCC)
- Semi-Fixed In-pit Crushing and Conveying systems (SF-IPCC)
- Semi-Mobile In-pit Crushing and Conveying systems (SM-IPCC)
- Fully Mobile In-pit Crushing and Conveying systems (FM-IPCC)
5.1.2. IPCC Systems’ Characteristics
- Operational expenditure
- CO2 emissions
- Energy saving
- Production efficiency
- Environmental footprint (noise and dust)
- Workforce reduction
- Total cost operation over the mine life
- Mine design limitation. The decision-makers must cater to the installation requirements of the IPCC systems when they design the mine layout. Take FM-IPCC as an example, the optimization of ultimate pit limit (UPL), considering the geometric constraints connected with the installation of FM-IPCC systems, is one study field that requires substantial further investigation . Throughout each sinking phase of a mine, truck haulage may still be required, but the distance of the haul may be decreased by deploying and scheduling the trucks to dump into the fully mobile crusher close to the mining activity .
- Relocation limitations. The IPCC has its specific extraction sequence. It is crucial to design its optimal location and relocation strategy to minimize operating costs. Mine designers need to trade-off large bench widths against production for an optimal location and relocation strategy . For instance, because FM-IPCC systems are better suited to flat or gently dipping applications such as coal overburden or iron ore mining, it reduces the ability of a mine to switch mining to a different zone to adapt to unforeseen changes in market conditions or geology .
- Capacity limitations. Compared with the TS system, IPCC systems cannot be scaled up or down as mining requirements change . This is because IPCC’s major components (crusher, conveyor, spreader/stacker) have their own capacity limitations. An IPCC system also has a rated capacity, which reduces the ability to scale mining rates up or down according to market conditions.
- Material requirements
- Contractual constraints
5.2. Trolley Assist Systems
5.2.1. Theory of Trolley Assist
5.2.2. Configuration of Trolley Assist
- Power Supply to the Pit
- Overhead Power Distribution
- Trucks with Trolley Assist Capability
5.2.3. Advantages and Disadvantages of Trolley Assist System
- Reduced Emissions
- Reduced diesel fuel consumption
- Productivity improvements
- Increase engine and wheel motor life
- Reduced fleet size
- Lower maintenance cost
- Lower overall operating cost
- High upfront capital outlay
- Mine design and planning restriction
- Trolley Assist system maintenance
- System capacity
- Access to Electricity
- Operator requirement
5.3. Battery Trolley Systems
5.3.1. Theory of Battery Trolley
5.3.2. Technology Uptake
- Battery-electric power technology
- Autonomous technology
- Trolley Assist technology
- Energy recovery system
5.3.3. Battery Trolley Advantages and Disadvantages
5.3.4. Battery Trolley Systems Configurations
- Dynamic charging BT configuration
- Stationary charging BT configuration
- Dual trolley BT configuration
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
|IPCC||In-pit Crushing and Conveying|
|ERSs||Energy Recovery Systems|
|STEPS||Stated Policies Scenario|
|APC||Announced Pledges Case|
|SDS||Sustainable Development Scenario|
|NZE||Net Zero Emissions|
|IEA||International Energy Agency|
|NEM||National Electricity Market|
|TGP||Terminal Gate Price|
|DPM||Diesel Particulate Matter|
|AHTs||Autonomous Haulage Trucks|
|FIPCC||Fixed In-pit Crushing and Conveying|
|SFIPCC||Semi-Fixed In-pit Crushing and Conveying|
|SMIPCC||Semi-Mobile In-pit Crushing and Conveying|
|FMIPCC||Fully Mobile In-pit Crushing and Conveying|
|UPL||Ultimate Pit Limit|
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|IPCC Systems Type||Fixed IPCC||Semi-Fixed IPCC||Semi-Mobile IPCC||Fully Mobile IPCC|
|Crusher Type||Gyratory or jaw||Gyratory or jaw||Twin roll or sizer||Twin roll or sizer|
|Locations||Near the pit rim and crest||A strategic junction point in the pit||Near the operational level||Bench level in production|
|Relocations Time||Rarely or never relocated||Relocations every 3 to 5 years||Relocations every 6 to 18 months||Relocations as required to follow the shovel|
|Feed Systems||Shovel-Trucks||Shovel-Trucks||Shovel-Trucks and/or dozers||Shovels|
|Use||Deep hard rock mines—ore||Deep hard rock mines -waste or ore||Not common in deep hard rock mines -waste or ore||Not common in deep hard rock mines -waste or ore|
|Parameter||Diesel TS||SF/M IPCC||FM-IPCC||TA||Dynamic Charging BT||Stationary Charging BT||Dual Trolley BT|
|Environmental Footprint (Noise/Dust/DPM/Vibration)||High||Medium||Low||Medium||Low||Low||Low|
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Bao, H.; Knights, P.; Kizil, M.; Nehring, M. Electrification Alternatives for Open Pit Mine Haulage. Mining 2023, 3, 1-25. https://doi.org/10.3390/mining3010001
Bao H, Knights P, Kizil M, Nehring M. Electrification Alternatives for Open Pit Mine Haulage. Mining. 2023; 3(1):1-25. https://doi.org/10.3390/mining3010001Chicago/Turabian Style
Bao, Haiming, Peter Knights, Mehmet Kizil, and Micah Nehring. 2023. "Electrification Alternatives for Open Pit Mine Haulage" Mining 3, no. 1: 1-25. https://doi.org/10.3390/mining3010001