Possible alternatives for diesel powered mobile equipment for the conditions of deep mines.

Abstract As the deposits located closer to the surface are getting depleted, more and more Canadian mines move to produce ore from considerable depths. Deep mining represents a number of serious challenges including high rock temperature. Conventional diesel powered load-haul-dump machines and trucks constitute an additional source of heat and noxious gases. Due to this, they have a substantial adverse impact on a quantity of fresh air required and cost of ventilation systems as mines have to meet the more and more stringent regulations in this respect. In this context, the paper will examine possible alternatives for diesel powered equipment, both these commercially available as those at the stages of prototypes or under development. They will be reviewed with regards to their principles and required infrastructure, as well as the stage of technology development and its progress. The questions of their flexibility, practicality and economic viability will also be addressed. Following the above a potential for their implementation and possible benefits (if any) in the conditions of deep Canadian mines will be discussed. The paper will conclude with short to medium term predictions concerning the most promising drive alternatives for vehicles destined to operate in deep metal mines.
Keywords: Deep Mining, mine truck, Ventilation, Safety, alternative drives, Feasibility, LHD, applicability, diesel engine
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