The BluVein ‘next-generation’ trolley-charging technology has taken another step towards development with seven major mining companies financially backing the project.
Newcrest, Vale, Glencore, Northern Star, Agnico Eagle, AngloGold Ashanti and OZ Minerals have signed funding agreements with BluVein, enabling the final system development and construction of a technology demonstration pilot site in Brisbane, Australia.
Alongside its mining partners, BluVein has also established agreements with four major mining vehicle manufacturers to support the integration of hardware and controls into BluVein’s vehicles.
A partnership between industry innovators Olitek and Evias, BluVein’s technology allows grid power to be supplied directly to a vehicle’s traction drive motors while simultaneously charging the onboard batteries.
It removes the need for battery swapping or stationary vehicle charging, enables the use of smaller and lower-cost batteries, while also increasing haulage speeds.
BluVein is standardised, allowing mixed mining fleets to implement its technology, while it’s also said to have added safety benefits.
BluVein’s patented slotted rail incorporates an ingress protection-rated slotted system that eliminates exposed high-voltage conductors, optimising safety and compliance with mine electrical regulations.
Much of the interest in BluVein’s new technology comes from the industry’s appetite to remove diesel emissions from underground operations – something that underlines the mining sector’s vision for greater sustainability.
Managed by the Canada Mining Innovation Council, the BluVein project is the culmination of over 35 years of combined experience between the Queensland-based Olitek and Sweden’s Evias.
Founded in 1994, Olitek has become an industry leader in the mining technology and innovation space, placing an emphasis on workplace health and safety.
Evias has been developing and refining their e-highway and charging-on-the-go technology for over ten years.