Mining and infrastructure powerhouse Epiroc has signed a memorandum of understanding with major underground mining contractor Byrnecut on the development of the “next generation” electric drive underground loaders.

“We are proud to deepen our partnership with Byrnecut with the development of a future-proof, low-emission automated loader in the large segment,” says Sami Niiranen, president of Epiroc’s Underground division. “This will support Byrnecut to accelerate the transformation toward reduced emissions as well as overall TCO, without any compromise on safety and productivity.”

The companies plan to cooperate on development of a proof-of-concept for the large underground loader segment. In a release, the companies said they plan to test a diesel-electric prototype at a Byrnecut site in Australia.

Byrnecut Executive Chairman Steve Coughlan highlighted Epiroc’s alignment with their own targets of reduced carbon emissions, all while maximizing potential through innovative technical solutions.

Epiroc’s existing Scooptram loaders boast a range of new features, including an optimized electric drivetrain for maximum efficiency, more optimized hydraulics, and a modular design to accommodate different energy sources. As part of Epiroc’s Smart series, the Scooptram loader will be equipped with Epiroc’s Rig Control System (RCS), making it ready for automation.

The Byrnecut project team together with Epiroc’s R&D team in the Underground division, headquartered in Orebro, Sweden are now intensifying the work to review development and plan the trial phases.

Epiroc’s Underground division develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of tunneling and mining equipment, including drill rigs, loaders, mine trucks and ventilation systems, for underground applications worldwide. It focuses on innovative product design and aftermarket support systems for added customer value. The division has production in Sweden, India, South Africa and China. Please see for product offerings.

Epiroc serves customers in the mining, infrastructure and natural resources industries in more than 150 countries. It develops and produces drill rigs, rock excavation and construction equipment, and also offers services and consumables. For more information, visit