Komatsu launches first ever electric drilling, bolting rigs

Komatsu launches first ever electric drilling, bolting rigs

Komatsu just launched its first-ever electric underground drilling and bolting rigs, signaling a new beginning for the Japanese construction giant’s hard rock mining portfolio.

Part of a broader range of updates and options for the second-generation of Komatsu‘s Z2 line of small-class development drill and bolting equipment that includes an innovative resin-pumping system, optimized cabin ergonomics for the operator, and more advanced telematics, the all-electric versions of the Komatsu ZJ21 jumbo drill and ZB21 are (like their predecessors) built on a common platform. That platform features a modular battery driveline that’s been specially designed to withstand the demanding duty cycles and challenging of hard rock mining.

“As underground mining operations increasingly shift toward electrification of their fleets, our innovative, battery-powered Z2 jumbo drills and bolters will support that pivotal transition. By integrating into existing infrastructure, we can help enhance productivity while helping to reduce operating costs,” said Johan Kempe, product director for underground drilling at Komatsu. “The rollout of our second generation Z2-class marks a milestone in our commitment to advancing mining technologies and building upon the proven success of our products to empower the future of mine operators.”

ZB21 bolter

Komatsu ZB21 bolter; via Komatsu.

The new Komatsu ZB21 is a small-class bolter featuring a fully enclosed ROPS/FOPS-certified operator cabin with updated operator controls, integrated screen handling, and industry-leading drifters manufactured by Montabert.

The second-generation bolter also introduces an optional pumpable resin system using J-LOK P developed by Jennmar. Komatsu says this unique solution pumps into the drilled hole prior to bolt installation, permitting the use of more economical (read: cheaper) bolts and driving down overall project cost.

ZJ21 electric drill

Komatsu ZJ21 electric drill; via Komatsu.

The updated ZJ21 jumbo drill, which shares a number of modular components with the ZB21, features a similar operator cabin, innovative drilling feeds, advanced pilot hydraulics, and the same, new Montabert drifters.

Both vehicles feature an 83 kWh li-ion battery pack presumably developed in concert with American Battery Solutions (ABS), which Komatsu acquired late last year. That purchase was part of a company-wide effort to help Komatsu achieve its stated ESG goals. Those being: a 50% reduction of CO2 emissions from the use of its products by 2030 (compared to 2010 levels) and company-wide carbon neutrality by 2050.

Electrek’s Take

Komatsu says its BEVs are designed to increase productivity compared to diesel through a mix of onboard charging, smart opportunistic charging capabilities, and 100% compatibility with existing infrastructure (translation: your accessories will fit). As for whether or not its new EVs will deliver – well, it’s hard to argue with Komatsu engineers. They’re smart, they’ve done the math, and they’ve built lithium-powered EVs specifically to mine for more lithium (again: smart).

Here’s hoping we get to read about more EVs from Komatsu sooner than later, then.


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