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Will electrification take mines beyond mining?

A new IDTechEx report says mining ventures are headed for zero-emission battery-electric vehicles and processing, with electricity made on-site.

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Imagine mines with so much electricity production and storage that they do far more downstream processing. As reserves deplete, many will even transition to being zero-emission power stations and electricity storage for local communities and industry or even national grids. The cost of making-good becomes income from reinvention. That is the untold story of mining electrification, beyond the vital safety, greening and cost reduction of electrics, according to new data from IDTechEx.

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A new IDTechEx report, “Mining Electrification: Vehicles, Generation, Repurposing 2022-2042” says mining ventures are headed for zero-emission battery-electric vehicles and processing, with electricity made on-site from sun, wind, and even water power each transitioning to better versions.

Electrification is inevitable, IDTechEx says, driven by cost, regulations, health, reputation, and ever-tougher location, morphology and toxicity of remaining reserves. The unmanned mine has arrived and, to be optimal, it can only be electric, IDTechEx continues.

The report surfaces several mining issues, stating the financial benefits of electrification are often under-estimated, leading to wrong decisions. The vehicles will less often be expensively customized and different mine-to-mine. Mines are already ordering Tesla Cybertruks and construction vehicles where appropriate. The number, cost and market value of mining electric vehicles by type are quantified 2022-2042.

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