A celebration at Copper Mountain Mine in Princeton, B.C. recently marked the arrival of a massive new excavator that will join the mine's electric fleet.
Officials from SMS Equipment, Komatsu Germany, and Hudbay Minerals Inc. welcomed the Komatsu PC8000-11 excavator to the mining operation. At 9.7 metres tall and 10 metres wide, it is the largest surface mining excavator on the market, according to the manufacturer. The excavator features a hefty payload and the ability to operate solely on electricity, contributing to the operation's emissions-reduction strategy.
"Embracing a sustainable future through electrification is an important step in our collective journey to decarbonization," says Dennis Chmielewski, Executive Vice President, Mining at SMS Equipment. "We are a proud equipment, service and technology solutions partner to Hudbay and a long-time supporter of the Copper Mountain mine trolley-assist project. The addition of a large-capacity excavator to the mine's electric infrastructure marks exciting progress on its path to net-zero."
Copper Mountain is one of the only open pit mines in North America to operate an electric trolley-assist haulage system. The one-kilometre haul ramp and seven pantograph-equipped electric haul trucks that comprise the project were commissioned in the spring of 2022, in partnership with SMS Equipment, Komatsu, ABB, Clean BC, and BC Hydro. The latest PC8000 joins two other electric excavators operating at the site that complement the mine's overall electric fleet.
"Electric equipment and infrastructure significantly reduce our reliance on diesel, the largest source of GHG emissions at the mine," says Walt Halipchuk, Director of Sustainability and Assets, Hudbay. "With the help of this technology, we are on track to reduce our emissions in 2024 by 6000 tonnes of CO2e."
"The journey to net-zero is not one we can navigate alone," adds Halipchuk. "With the help of value-added partners like SMS Equipment and Komatsu, we can explore our challenges and find sustainable solutions without sacrificing productivity, efficiency or profitability."
The nearly 800-metric-ton Komatsu shovel was made in Germany and assembled at Copper Mountain mine earlier this year. Komatsu officials, including the president and managing director of Komatsu Germany GmbH, were on-site for a handover ceremony and reception for Hudbay employees and SMS Equipment representatives.