Artisan Vehicles' Z40 40-tonne battery-powered haul truck. Courtesy of Artisan Vehicle Systems

Sandvik has acquired Artisan Vehicle Systems, the maker of battery electric underground mining equipment.

Artisan, based in California with an office in Sudbury, will become a business unit of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology’s load and haul division.

The two companies have declined to disclose the cost of the acquisition.

“Sandvik’s expertise in machine design coupled with our expertise in electric powertrains and battery technology will set a new course for the global mining industry,” said Brian Huff, Artisan’s chief technology officer.

Artisan, which was founded in 2010, has underground loaders and trucks operating in mines in several countries, owned by companies including Vale and Kirkland Lake Gold. The company earned US$12.3 million in 2017.

Last year the company released its Z40, its first-ever battery-powered truck, which is in operation at Kirkland Lake Gold's Macassa mine.

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The acquisition comes a few months after Sandvik opened its Battery Electrification Innovation and Development Center in Turku, Finland, a development facility that will create battery products and electric solutions for the mining and construction industries.

“I am pleased to see the strategic acquisition of Artisan so soon after the [development center] opening,” said Sandvik president Lars Engström in a statement. “It is in line with our ambition to be leading in the market for battery electric vehicle solutions.”

The deal is expected to close later this quarter.