may 07, 2024

On the green road: Electrification transforms the mining landscape in B.C.

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BBA SM Effetingeniosite Mining electrification BC image CM

The mining industry in British Columbia is undergoing significant changes that are driven by social and economic imperatives, prompting various stakeholders to speed up their shift toward cleaner energy.

  1. While most of the province’s mines are already powered largely by renewable energy, transportation remains a major source GHG emissions. Electrifying transport operations can therefore make it possible to:

    - fight climate change and meet GHG reduction targets.
    - improve worker health and safety with cleaner air and reduced noise and vibration.
    - lower operating costs, over the long term.
    - reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
    - increase accuracy of production forecasting: electrification and digitalization go hand in hand.
    - improve your ESG report, and support social acceptance.

    “However, this transition is neither quick nor easy,” explains Amanda Fitch, Regional Director, Mining and Metals. “Electrifying transport requires a great deal of planning. This can mean adapting facilities, supporting employees in adopting new work methods and substantial upfront investments.”

    Making an informed decision requires a detailed assessment using a life-of-mine plan. Many factors must be taken into account, including:

    1. Remaining mine life
    2. Availability and location of resources to extract
    3. Development options for the mine site
    4. Impact of electrification on mining activities
    5. Tax and government incentives

    “If electrifying transport isn’t feasible, there are other options to consider, such as transport by conveyor or train, using alternative fuels and even optimizing routes to reduce vehicle distances,” Fitch noted in closing. “What’s more, there are many promising technologies currently under development that should enable more mines to one day electrify their transport.”

This content is for general information purposes only. All rights reserved ©BBA

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