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The Role of Generators in the Mining Industry

Australia is a world leader in the mining industry, an industry which accounts for 75% of the country’s exports. Mining averages $50 billion in annual earnings and employs hundreds of thousands of workers. In the 2022-23 financial year, the mining industry contributed a record $455 billion in export revenue for the nation.

Generators play a significant role in Australia’s mining activities. In more ways than one, they’re a major source of the industry’s power.

Australian mines are commonly situated in remote and off-grid locations where the land and weather are harsh.  Commercial generators are built to withstand the tough conditions in Australian mines and quarries. Because they’re cost-effective and built to handle large power loads, diesel generators are perfect for mining.

Are you looking for the right mining generator to carry out your operations successfully? Whether you’re seeking to rent or buy a mine-compliant generator, Total Generators can assist you. Here is our guide to the role of generators in the mining industry and what to look for in a mining generator.

Why Are Generators Crucial For The Mining Industry?

Mining uses large, powerful machinery and other equipment to extract precious metals like coal and gas from the earth. These include huge drills, dozers, rigs, crushers, belts, and pulleys. Diesel generators account for around 70% of the power needed to keep these operations running.

Diesel generators for mining fill a much-needed role in remote mining locations with no access to the main power grid. Without generators to power the gear, tasks like drilling, breaking rock and hauling heavy materials would require more hard physical labour, and the process would be longer, more arduous and less efficient.

Generators allow for uninterrupted operation of machines, lighting, ventilation systems and other essential mining equipment. They also give mining companies the flexibility to set up mobile mining sites with no need for a fixed power source. Of course, not all generators are the same and it’s important to choose the one that suits you best.

What to Look For In a Mining Generator?

In an environment as tough as an Australian mine, you can’t just settle for any old generator. Yet, even within mining operations, there’s a lot of variation. Some key considerations when you’re looking to rent or buy a mine-compliant generator include:

Power output

There’s a fairly simple technique for choosing the right size generator. First, determine all the tools and appliances that you need to run simultaneously. Then, work out the maximum total power output for all appliances (you’ll tend to find this information in their instruction manuals, listed in watts). Make sure you get the starting and running power required for every appliance.

Generator sizes are given in kilo-voltamps (kVA) based on volts (units of electrical pressure) and amps (units of electrical current). A generator’s kVA needs to be converted into watts so you know how many appliances you can power, and fortunately you can do this on our power calculator right here on the Total Generators website.

Fuel source

Diesel generators fulfil more than 50% of the Australian industry’s electrical demands, and there are good reasons why diesel is the number one mining fuel source. The next section covers the benefits of powering your mine site with diesel in more detail. Gasoline, propane, natural gas, and solar are other commonly used generator fuel sources.

Fuel efficiency

Value for money is always important. It’s not just about the fuel but how long it will last you. Generators with high levels of fuel efficiency will give you more value for your money, and you’ll notice the difference, especially when it comes to long-term mining operations.

Safety features

When renting or buying a generator, it pays to look into which safety features are best suited to your needs. Features like emergency stop buttons and automatic engine alarms and shutdowns can be very useful in industries like mining.

Weather protection

In Australia, weather conditions like heavy rain, storms, flooding and pounding winds can impact mining operations. With most mining sites already located in hot, arid areas, these weather events can make already tough conditions even harsher. Dust, dirt and grime can grind your generator down, and water can ruin its wiring and outlets. Some weather protection features commonly found on generators include weatherproof enclosures, waterproof gaskets and seals, and protective coatings on corrosion-resistant terminals.


Opting for a generator with wheels or a trailer makes it much easier to transport. This is a great option if your mining operation is mobile or involves working at multiple sites.

Noise output

Even if you’re operating in a remote location, it’s important to consider the noise restrictions of the area you’ll be working in. The last thing you want is a fine for using a noisy generator over an extended period.

The Best Types of Generators For Mining

Choosing the right generator for your mining project involves considering several factors, including power requirements, operational needs, environmental conditions, and budget. But for mining, diesel generators stand head and shoulders above generators with other fuel sources.

Diesel fuel is much cheaper than petrol and has less risk of ignition. Diesel generators are also tougher than most other types, can easily handle large power loads and don’t require as much maintenance. The mining industry in Australia relies heavily on the power of diesel generators, and mining operations in this country would be a lot more expensive without them.

Diesel generators’ reduced volatility, high portability, and reliability make them the ideal choice for the mining industry. They can power all the equipment on a mine site and don’t require complications like carburettor rebuilds or spark plug replacements.

But even among diesel generators, there are different benefits to consider, and you have plenty of choices. Luckily, Total Generators can be your one-stop shop for generator sales and power equipment supplies. 

Mining Generators for Sale at Total Generators

With more than 25 years of experience powering Australian industries, Total Generators is the number-one choice for many mining professionals. Our leading range of generators for sale suits all budgets, and our knowledgeable team members are always happy to provide recommendations. With power partners like Power Generation, Scania and Danyo, our mining generators can be trusted to keep up with the demands of both your power load and mining compliance requirements.

Total Generators is a national supply and service power specialist company that designs personalised solutions rather than turnkey ones. We’re the number one choice of supplier for many remote mining camps, film productions, construction projects and major events. Our ability to design, implement and manage both short and long-term power installations to meet specific conditions is what sets us apart. And if you need assistance, we’re always on hand with 24/7 emergency support.
Do you have a mining project in the works that you could use some expert advice on? Contact the Total Generators team for top-notch diesel generators for mining and guidance.

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