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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsI'm global marketing manager for the electrification at Epiroc a part of the Atlas Copco group. We make underground mining equipment. And one of my most important roles is to make sure that we have the right products at the right time. This means we have to follow trends and follow our customers' needs. Underground mining is special. It's special because we are still running diesel equipment inside the mines, polluting our air. And because of that, we have to have a lot of ventilation. Ventilation is one of the single biggest costs for a mine. If we can change this, if we can offset this, we can make mining more profitable, and safer, and healthier.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds30 meters per year is an important number for me. 30 meters per year is the increased depth of mines average in the world. And this is important to follow because costs increase with depth. If for customers is not cost effective, I have no customers. So I have to find out ways how we can change our machines and our technology to make sure that my customers stay profitable in the long run.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 secondsCosts increase with depth. The deeper you go, the higher the cost to mine. The costs increase because of the rock pressure. and to keep tunnels open, you have to rock bolt, you have to secure that these tunnels are safe. But it also means longer transportation routes. Every level you go down in a mine, you have to increase your number of units to be able to pull out the ore. So with more machines you have a tighter ventilation scope, for example. So longer transportation routes, more machines, requires a bigger infrastructure. And temperature also increases with depth. The deeper you go, the hotter it gets.

Skip to 2 minutes and 15 secondsIt gets hotter because you're closer to the center of the Earth, but also because of the outer compression of the air. So many mines today, there are 1,000 meters, going deeper. Many mines in Canada are all around 2,000 meters and going towards 3,000 meters. The deepest mines in the world are already below 5,000 meters like some gold mines in South Africa. At those depths, the mines have to be air conditioned. This is enormous cost. So if we can offset this, if we can change the amount of air we have to pump down, if it can offset how much heat these machines generate, we can have enormous savings for our customers. And electrification has the possibility to do that.

Skip to 3 minutes and 7 secondsFollowing the trends in the world does not only mean following what your customers are doing, you also have to follow what's going on with rules and regulations. The legislation is always changing. There is a demand for a cleaner engine. There is a demand on reducing the carbon emissions And this is new to us. For the most, OEMs have not been really focusing on this. The world is just waking up to this, that global warming is a problem. And we have to reduce our carbon footprint. As a leading OEM in the area, we have to take our responsibility and lead the way. Underground mining is also special because we have to take care of our own exhausts.

Skip to 3 minutes and 47 secondsWe have to make sure that we ventilate away the diesel particulates and the NOx gases, for example. Safety and health is improving or tightening up it is realised that this diesel exhaust is not actually that healthy. So reducing the particulates by putting in a cleaner engine is not really a solution. We have to eliminate this. There is no safe levels. There is a lot of things happening in the world. Electric cars are coming. The automakers are spending billions of dollars on getting electric cars cost effective for their own highway market. This trickles over also into our market. And battery electric machines becomes more and more obvious every day.

Skip to 4 minutes and 35 secondsNow, it's predicted that in 2025 electric cars will be more cost effective to just both buy and run compared to internal combustion engine cars. This will trickle over into our industry. And it is just a matter of time when it becomes cost effective to run battery equipment underground. And probably, it's already so that it is more cost effective. It depends on the depth. In 2016, we launched our first battery operated machine, it was a seven ton loader with swappable battery packs. This means that the machine can operate 24/7 in a mining operation with quick battery changing. So the trends are clear. There are so many things pointing that we have to reduce our carbon emissions.

Skip to 5 minutes and 26 secondsWe have to reduce our particulates. We have to reduce NOx levels. Zero emission is coming. Electrification is the answer. And battery is the technology enabler. We are moving towards electrification because that's future of underground.

Electrification of underground mining

In the following video, Erik Svedlund, Global Marketing Manager at Epiroc, will give you a unique view on underground mining. He will describe the current challenges of the sector and the upcoming trend towards electrification.

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This video is from the free online course:

Understanding Energy Storage: The Battery Revolution

EIT InnoEnergy