Pybar Cat R1700 trial underway at Ramelius Vivien mine

On 22 October, the PYBAR team at the Ramelius Resources Vivien gold mine in WA commenced the first underground trial globally of the new Cat R1700 loader as we continue to test and evaluate the benefits new equipment and technologies can bring to our clients.

The new Cat R1700 loader, launched to the market last year at MINExpo, is expected to deliver significant productivity and efficiency benefits to underground mining operations.

It features multiple engine configurations, a new ergonomic operator cabin, greater payload, a compact profile, efficient power train and durability to deliver low cost-per-tonne truck loading and load-haul-dump production.

“The trial at Vivien, part of our ongoing innovation program, will see the machine complete 2,000 hours of development works over a six to seven month period. Caterpillar has manufactured just six of these machines to date with PYBAR the first to trial one underground in Australia.”

The loader arrived at Vivien on October 19 and fitter and operator familiarisation was carried out prior to it travelling underground.

PYBAR’s Plant Manager Scott Marsden said: “Operators and fitters have been very excited witnessing the future of underground mining. The machine is performing well at present with decreased cycle times already being achieved due to increased payload and hydraulic power. Operator feedback has also been positive.”

“The operational and maintenance experience our teams will gain over the trial period will enable us to optimise the new R1700’s capabilities, creating even greater value for our clients.”

Key features of the new R1700:

Multiple engine configurations: The loader can be optimised for lowest total costs in a specific application through its multiple engine configurations. It can be configured to comply with the highest emission standards in underground applications, helping to reduce our customers’ ventilation costs and improve air quality.

Ergonomic cabin: The operator cabin is designed to promote safe and efficient operation throughout the shift. An open ROPS/FOPS cab and an enclosed cabin are available. Increased leg room, multiple ergonomic adjustments, and automatic climate control and filtered ventilation in the enclosed cab enable operators to work comfortably and minimise fatigue.

Increased payload: The new machine delivers a payload of 15 tonnes – 20 percent more than the previous model, and it supports efficient three-pass loading of the 45-tonne-capacity Cat AD45B truck.

Technology enhancements: The new R1700 also delivers significant technology enhancements. It is equipped with multiple subsystems for fast technology implementation. The Cat MineStar Command system enables operators to work from a remote location. Remote machine health monitoring, payload monitoring and other technology options can also be installed. The cab monitor also presents live diagnostic code feedback for faster repairs in the event of an issue.