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article imageBorden Lake mine to become the world's first all-electric project

By Karen Graham     Aug 13, 2018 in Technology
As the world’s fourth-largest gold mining company, Vancouver, British Columbia-based Goldcorp has received criticism about the impact it has on the environment. Partnering with mining-equipment company Sandvik, Goldcorp is out to change its image.
Goldcorp’s operating assets include four mines in Canada, one mine in Mexico, and four in Central and South America. Goldcorp also has a number of projects including the Coffee, Cochenour, and Borden projects in Canada.
The company's projects are a key part of Goldcorp's plan to increase production by 20 percent by 2021, and the Borden Lake project will be very special because it will be an all-electric gold mine. The project is expected to take until 2021 to complete.
The Borden Lake project lies just south of the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve, the world’s largest at 2 million acres (700,000 hectares). Part of the ore that will be mined by Goldcorp sits beneath the lake, whose water is sacred for the area’s four First Nations communities. So the environmental risks are something to be taken very seriously.
Creating an all-electric mine began with the Sandvik DD422iE electric drilling machine. The DD422IE is just one of three new tunneling jumbos now available that suit different drilling requirements. The company hopes the electric drilling machine will provide higher health and safety standards for employees as well as reduce environmental impacts.
The Sandvik DD422iE drilling machine
The DD422iE weighs 60,000 pounds and runs non-stop on a giant cord. It has a 75-kWh sodium nickel chloride battery to buffer power demands and to move the drill from one part of the mine to another. And diesel free drilling does away with diesel particulate, easing ventilation requirements, as well as reducing associated diesel logistics and maintenance expenses.
And with this latest integrated battery technology, it does not require operators to remove, handle or swap batteries underground; further improving safety for operators and maintenance crews.
Sandvik DD422iE
Sandvik DD422iE
Additional features with the Sandvik DD422iE include 3D scanning, remote monitoring and a wide range of automation options, increasing drilling precision and productivity. The automatic scanning process uses point cloud scanning technology to determine rig location, saving valuable setup time each drilling cycle. It measures the profiles of the roof and walls around the rig, comparing them with previous scans in its memory to locate a drilling location with perfect precision.
Cleaner mining and protecting all stakeholders
John Mullally, Goldcorp’s director of government affairs and energy, considers a shift to cleaner, more sustainable mining practices essential.
“There’s so many societal expectations and changing views on things like climate change,” Mullally says. “For us to be a modern company, we have to be moving sort of at the same rate as changes in society, so I think that energy overall, and climate change specifically and mitigating our impacts to climate, that’s become a big focus in the last three to five years with Goldcorp. We’re changing the culture inside the company and we want to encourage a change in culture across the industry.”
More about Goldcorp, Ontario canada, Sandvik DD422iE, Environment, allelectric
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