Analyzing the Electricity Consumption and Costs of Electrical-Powered Machines When There is Orepass Failure in Underground Mine

Bartłomiej Skawina, Abubakary Salama


In underground mining environment where the loss of orepasses is a dominant factor, the mine may face a challenge of improving the loading and hauling operations. Some of the options will be to rehabilitate the lost orepasses, or developing the new ones. When the rehabilitation cost is high, alternative strategies should be applied to compensate for the orepasses failure. One of the possible options is to use diesel or electric Load-Haul-Dumps (LHDs). The use of diesel-powered LHDs will increase heat and gas emissions which increase environmental concerns and ventilation costs, while adoption of electric-powered vehicles needs to be analysed. Therefore, this study was conducted at an existing underground mine in Sweden, to determine the electricity consumption and costs of electric-powered LHDs when there is a loss of orepasses. The AutoModTM discrete event simulation tool was used during the analysis. The results show that, electric-powered LHDs have significant cost saving when used in case of orepass loss to move materials compared to diesel-powered units. However, the source of electricity to fully adopt electric-powered units may need further financial justifications to evaluate the impacts to the environment.

Keywords: Electricity costs; production rate; discrete event simulation; loading operations.

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