Rentech’s expertise in the Mining industry dates back to 1966, when its parent company, then known as Willard Africa, started the first local manufacturing of lead-acid batteries for industrial applications in South Africa.

These batteries were used to power mining cap lamps, and in the 1980s the company initiated the production and assembly of cap lamps.

Services to the mining industry branched out and soon included the production and supply of batteries for underground locomotives for coal mining as well as the management of lamp rooms and battery bays at the mines.

Today, health and safety are non-negotiable factors in the mining industry, and battery-powered equipment that is cost-effective and offers a far greater degree of safety opposing to diesel-driven systems has become the specified standard. With in-depth experience of underground environments and requirements, Rentech is a preferred supplier of high performance lead-acid batteries and electrical-driven equipment as well as services to mining customers.

Rentech batteries and power solutions for applications in the mining industry include the following:

  • Electric railway locomotives
  • Underground electric-driven locomotives
  • Underground electric-driven front-end loaders
  • Back-up power for lighting equipment

Rentech branded industrial batteries for mining applications are designed to withstand harsh conditions while ensuring that all required health and safety measures are met. For more information about Rentech Mining solutions, please contact or 011 776 4300

Transition towards Battery-Electric Vehicles and Equipment in the Mining Industry


  • Elimination of diesel fine particular matter and other exhaust gas components in the underground environment, requiring less ventilation and therefore lower costs, as well as improved health for miners.
  • Conversion efficiency from electric energy to wheel drives is much higher than that from diesel to wheel drive. The amount of heat produced by an electric vehicle is therefore significantly less. This results in reduced ventilation requirements (30 to 50% less) and lower associated energy costs.
  • Diesel engines consume air, which increases the ventilation requirement. Battery-electric vehicles do not consume air.
  • Elimination of diesel fuel costs, a variable quantity.
  • Reduced maintenance costs (some 25% fewer parts on electrical vehicle propulsion versus diesel propulsion systems).
  • Less noise, vibration and heat for miners operating the equipment underground.

In addition to these advantages, there is an increasing move towards automation of mine machinery, and the use of remotely controlled mining robots, which favour the use of electric drives and battery-driven vehicles.
Credit: EE Publishers (2017)