The news comes as the mining industry undergoes a rapid change, with many industry players trying to reduce their carbon footprints. Boliden’s mines currently use diesel-fueled vehicles, which are responsible for most of the firm’s carbon emissions via exhaust gasses.
The firm has opted to electrify the transportation system in its mines to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030. The use of electric trucks will reduce exhaust emissions and improve workplace safety and allow miners to work in a quieter environment.
This partnership will begin with the deployment of two electric Volvo trucks at Boliden’s Kankberg mine, located just outside of Skellefteå. Miners at the site will first use an FH Electric to move rock bolts and other mining equipment down into the mine.
Another FH Electric will be deployed based on the experience operating the first truck. Miners will use the second truck to transport rock and ore underground. The companies have projected a 25 percent emission reduction if all trucks in the Kankberg mine were electric.
Boliden project manager Dennis Forslund described the partnership as a “fantastic opportunity” that could advance electric vehicle technology, adding that EVs would help the company reduce energy consumption.
“This is an exciting collaboration in an environment with very tough demands; steep slopes, heavy loads and humid air that wears on the vehicles.”
Jessica Lindholm, Director of Customer Projects at Volvo Trucks
Meanwhile, Volvo Trucks director of customer projects Jessica Lindholm said the Boliden collaboration would allow her company to see how its electric vehicles perform in a “tough” environment. The deployment in Boliden’s Kankberg site can provide information about the impact of mining environments on the drivelines and batteries of electric trucks.
“Reduced carbon dioxide emissions for mining transport also means that we, indirectly, will reduce our own CO2 emissions, because the mining industry’s raw materials are used in our trucks,” added Lindholm.
Currently, Volvo Trucks offers six electric truck models — FH Electric, FM Electric, FMX Electric, FE Electric, FL Electric, and VNR Electric. The company aims to have electric trucks constitute 50 percent of its new truck sales by 2030.