In early August 2023, Liebherr-Australia handed over a new 345.5 t R 9400 backhoe excavator to mining services customer Thiess at the Pembroke Resources Olive Downs Complex in Queensland. Not only was this Thiess’ first R 9400 on site, but the model is also equipped with Liebherr’s own D9812 series engine.
This is the third Liebherr machine delivered to Olive Downs Complex this year, and joins two larger 800 t class R 9800 backhoe machines, each with two Cummins QSK60 engines, that have already begun work at the coking coal mine. A Liebherr R 9100 will also be used at the mine.
On the truck side, Thiess is deploying 6 Caterpillar 793 and 15 Caterpillar 794 autonomous haul trucks equipped with Caterpillar’s Command for hauling system to work with the Liebherr excavators. Additional Cat 793 trucks will run conventionally. The trucks are being assembled in Mackay by Cat dealer Hastings Deering. The operation is also using three Cat MD6310 autonomous drills. All the equipment will run on a private LTE network.
Progress is also being made on the processing side of the operation. On September 22, CIMIC Group’s minerals processing company, Sedgman, a leading provider of integrated minerals processing solutions, said it had secured an operations and maintenance contract at Olive Downs. The five-year contract will generate revenue for Sedgman of A$125 million.
Sedgman and CPB Contractors, also a CIMIC Group company, have been working together to deliver an end-to-end solution for the Olive Downs Complex processing plant since mid-2022. These additional works will extend the scope of work for Sedgman to include optimising operations, enhancing efficiency, and elevating productivity at the facility.