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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds What about the environmental aspects of batteries? We don’t want to change one evil for another. So as a leading OEM, it’s very important for us to understand the total impact this has for our industry. Battery production has a number of concerns, and it’s very important that we understand those. It starts with the raw materials, also something that we with our machines mine. Understanding this going into the batteries is important. But this is not so easy to justify. And the materials for a battery is actually quite low part of the total battery production. But you can consider battery raw materials stand for about 20% of the total impact of the battery. But nothing is static. This will change.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds As we change to greener machines, there would be a lower impact. Now. We also have to consider where the mines are in the world. Of course, not all areas have the same energy mix, for example. If you have a production where you have a very clean energy coming from renewable for that mine, you have a lowerimpact than if you have coal or even the diesel power mine. Now the battery production is also about what kind of mining method. Not all mining methods are the same. So it’s a lot depending on where these metals are being produced and how. But the biggest concern is probably the ethical concerns about cobalt, for example, in batteries.

Skip to 1 minute and 45 seconds More than or about half the world’s cobalt is produced in the Democratic Republic of Congo with ethical concerns. So this is something we have to consider when choosing battery technology. Another aspect is the production of batteries. This is where the major environmental impact is today. If you look at the reports in the subject, you can find different results. But if we take the worst kind of scenario, that translates to about 150 kilos of carbon emissions per kilowatt-hour of battery. And if you take that example with our first launch machine, that would translate to 50 tonnes of carbon built into that battery at day one. 50 tonnes of carbon is quite a lot.

Skip to 2 minutes and 34 seconds It is actually about 10 man-years for me living in Sweden. But we’re not comparing it to me or a Swedish person. We are actually comparing to the alternative, and that is diesel machines. A diesel machine puts out about 44 kilos of carbon emissions per hour. And if you spread the battery over time, which it only translates to about two kilos of carbon emission per hour. So to break even on the emissions part, it only takes about 1,000 hours of the machine’s life, which translates to about three months, in a worst-case scenario, with one of the dirtiest batteries we can find. So the business case for, if you look at it from a carbon emission perspective, but it’s very, very positive.

Skip to 3 minutes and 22 seconds It’s about 20 times better than diesel, assuming that we produced this electricity with a carbon neutral or renewable energy. So that’s the emissions during usage. So another- the last concern is about recycling. What are we going to do with all these batteries once they are used up in the machines or in all these electric cars? And today on an EU level, for example, there is the battery directive. And the battery directive dictates that we have to recycle 50% of the material in the batteries. And that is quite easy. What’s the norm of recycling today is the batteries are shredded, thrown into the furnace, and you use the smelter process to just get the metals out.

Skip to 4 minutes and 8 seconds You get copper, cobalt, nickel, but you don’t get all metals. Lithium is burned, for example. This is problematic. So there is a lot of money spent on getting the recycling technology to be better This is important because we are building now a circular economy around batteries. Electrification enables a circular economy. Electrification means we can charge a machine with electricity. And electricity is the cleanest form of energy we have today. It can be produced in the most renewable ways, and fossil fuels will always be fossil. We have to get away from that. Electricity and electric machines is the future. Now, underground mining is going to be one of the first industries that goes fully electric.

Skip to 5 minutes and 5 seconds We must consider the mining industry’s carbon footprint and assume our responsibility as an industry leader. Zero mission machines have altered their performance to meet or exceed the diesel technology. And this is only the beginning. Things will only improve from here. But most importantly, this will improve the working conditions for miners everywhere. This is a power change that changes everything.

Environmental considerations on batteries for underground mining

It’s crucial that we also understand the environmental impact of battery energy storage. In this case, Erik Svedlund, Global Marketing Manager at Epiroc, reveals how this can impact the mining industry.

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This video is from the free online course:

Understanding Energy Storage: The Battery Revolution

EIT InnoEnergy