3 Latest Underground Mining Vehicle Technologies in Which Mining Corporations Are Actively Investing

13 May


Key Takeaways:

  • Introduction
  • Latest trends and advancements in the sector
  • Innovative product launches in the industry

With the growing demand for metallic and non-metallic minerals, the mining sector has developed new techniques to maximize the mining output. To help mining companies achieve this aim, automobile manufacturers have joined hands with these businesses to design new vehicles which can reduce the pressure on manual labor and automate some of the repetitive tasks involved in mining activities. Over the years, different types of underground mining vehicles such as hydraulic excavators, mining dozers, underground haulers, etc., have come up which efficiently perform some of the most arduous mining activities.

Decoding the role of advanced technologies in the growing demand for underground mining vehicles

As said earlier, the rising demand for minerals and metals due to growing industrialization and urbanization has compelled mining companies to dig deeper into the Earth. Naturally, the job of miners has become much more tough and challenging. Hence, automated systems which provide safety to the miners and perform certain cumbersome repetitive tasks have become quite popular. Autonomous mining equipment and underground mining vehicles such as drilling trucks, excavators, and load-haul dump machines (LUDs) have become indispensable to the modern mining industry.

In recent times, to balance out the negative impact of mining on the global ecosystem, the mining sector has witnessed a rise in the adoption of electric mining vehicles to bring down vehicular emissions. As opposed to the traditional diesel vehicles, battery electric vehicles cause no carbon emissions and hence, bring down the ventilation costs and reduce the noise levels drastically. Furthermore, the maintenance costs associated with BEVs are also quite less as compared to traditional diesel vehicles which increases the profitability of mining companies.

A major problem experienced in underground mines is the poor connectivity which causes issues in setting up reliable communication channels between the workers. To overcome this challenge, modern underground mining vehicles have advanced communication systems fitted in them which facilitate seamless communication between workers and the control centers through which supervisors manage the workload. Furthermore, these technologies also offer real-time monitoring which helps with effective navigation within the mines.

Moreover, emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things and data analytics help underground mining vehicles and equipment in predictive maintenance and better resource allocation. These technologies, by capturing and analyzing granular data, aid mining companies in managing their workforce in a better way, thus increasing the productivity of the company. Some of these vehicles and equipment also have 3D scanning and mapping technologies installed in them which enable companies to map the underground maps and plan their activities and operations accordingly. These technologies, ultimately, bring down the risk of accidents, thereby making mining operations safer.

Product launches by multinational giants to help the industry expand its revenue share

To address the demands of global mining corporations, several mining equipment manufacturers have launched state-of-the-art mining vehicles. In February 2022, for instance, Sandvik, an engineering company focusing on rock excavation solutions, announced the launch of its first battery-electric truck for underground mining prototype. With a load-carrying capacity of 65 tons, the company has claimed that this TH665B prototype is one of the largest load-carrying vehicles in the industry. The company also signed an agreement with certain mines in Australia where this prototype’s performance will be tested based on various parameters.

Similarly, in January 2024, Caterpillar, an engine equipment manufacturer, announced the launch of the prototype of its first battery-electric underground mining truck. Developed in collaboration with Newmont, a gold mining company, the product launch is in line with the company’s aim to create a series of fully electric mining solutions that will align the company's product portfolio with the evolving dynamics of the industry. The product launch is expected to help Caterpillar take a lead over its peers in the industry in the years to come.

To summarize, technological advancements like 3D scanning and the use of IoT-powered tools are expected to increase the growth rate of the underground mining vehicle industry. Additionally, the launch of certain innovative products by multinational mining equipment manufacturers like Sandvik and Caterpillar is predicted to bring in new opportunities for growth in this domain. 

To get an in-depth analysis of the growth drivers and investment opportunities in the industry, feel free to contact us.

Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar

Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar

Author's Bio- Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the reputed Vishwakarma Institute of Technology. He has a special interest in the fields of forensics, world history, international relations and foreign policy, sports, agriculture, astronomy, security, and oceanography. An ardent bibliophile and melophile, Akhilesh loves to write on topics of his interest and various other societal issues. This love for writing made him enter the professional world of content writing and pursue his career in this direction.


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