At Raglan Mine, different initiatives are carried out each year to reduce the environmental impacts of our operations. One of the initiatives being implemented currently is the conversion of our mining trucks and loaders equipped with Detroit Diesel engines to Volvo engines meeting Tier 4 standards.
About the Tier 4 standards
In 2012, engine manufacturers have been imposed stricter standards, called Tier 4. Under this standard, engines must from now on be more energy efficient to reduce the impact of vehicle emissions on air quality.
We started converting our mining trucks and loaders to engines meeting Tier 4 standards in 2017. These engines deliver 10% better fuel economy compared to previous generation engines. Because they generate fewer pollutant emissions, less energy is necessary to ensure underground ventilation. Significantly, this engine conversion project is recognized by EcoPerformance, a provincial program that aims to reduce GES emissions and company use of energy.
How does engine conversion take place?
Trucks and loaders are shipped by sea from Deception Bay to Québec City, where conversion to Tier 4 engines is performed by a contractor. At the same time, we have mechanisms reconditioned (transmission system, torque converter, hydraulic system, cylinder, etc.) Simultaneously, the employees of the Mine Maintenance Department receive training to ensure they have the proper skills to work on those new engines, which require different maintenance techniques.
"This training teaches how to conduct mechanical maintenance and diagnose problems on new Volvo engines. These engines are more complex, because multiple technologies (e.g. a urea system) were used to make them less polluting," said Claude Thivierge, Senior Coordinator – Sector Development.
$14 million investment
To date, three mining trucks were converted. Conversion of our mobile equipment will continue until 2022. In the end, 21 trucks and 12 loaders will have been converted to Tier 4 engines. This represents an investment of more than $14 million made to reduce our impact on the environment.