Mine electrification will drive down costs amongst other benefits: EY report

The electrification of mines will improve economics for mining companies while also reducing health and safety risks for workers, according to a new report commissioned by global consultancy firm EY.

The report was based on a survey of miners and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) conducted by the University of Queensland in Australia and the University of British Columbia in Canada.

In the report, EY concluded that electrification not only reduces operational costs, but also up-front capital expenses as it reduces the infrastructure needs of ventilation shafts in underground mines.

EY global mining and metals leader Paul Mitchell said: “The mining sector is on the verge of an electrification revolution, driven by significant cost reduction potential, lowered carbon emissions and improved worker health benefits.

“This is critically important, given the World Health Organisation has declared that diesel particulates now belong in the same deadly category as asbestos, arsenic and mustard gas.”

The survey also found that close collaboration between mining companies, OEMs and government is required for the process of mine electrification to occur across the sector.

“The future of electrification in mines requires a paradigm shift in thinking — from existing known and proven technologies to new emerging technologies,” Mitchell added.