BHP starts operating Komatsu 4800XPC electric cable shovel at Escondida

BHP has announced the start of operations at Escondida copper mine of the first 4800XPC electric cable shovel in Chile and Latin America and the third in the world, designed and manufactured by Komatsu.

With a weight of approximately 1,750 tons in operation, it is the shovel with the highest capacity worldwide, loading 400-ton mining trucks in just three passes, one less than other equipment currently on the market. This allows increasing efficiency during the truck loading process and generating a significant improvement in costs per ton, as well as increasing the safety and comfort of those who operate it.

Alejandro Tapia, President of BHP Escondida noted: “Having the 4800XPC shovel in our fleet of equipment is a great contribution to advancing the operational challenges we have in Escondida. We are very happy that the shovel with the greatest capacity has arrived at the main copper producer in the world. I want to congratulate all the teams involved in the assembly and delivery of this shovel, which was achieved without safety incidents and in less time compared to the other two teams on the market.”

“For Komatsu, the start of operations of the 4800XPC shovel strengthens a relationship that we have had with BHP for decades. In this sense, being able to introduce this model in the industry serves to continue promoting mining in Chile. With this, our intention is to create value together so that both companies continue to position themselves as a reference in mining innovations worldwide,” commented Carlos Soto, Executive Vice President of Komatsu Cummins Chile.

Among its main features, the incorporation of new technologies that allow greater excavation power without reducing the useful life of the equipment, lower loads due to impact or improper operation, improved payload and excavation performance through control and application stand out as does its ‘intelligent’ power usage and in addition less operator fatigue due to the reduction of swinging movements (boom jacking).

The delivery of this new shovel is a significant advance in the national industry, since it is the first time that a copper mine in the world will use equipment of these characteristics. South Africa received the second 4800XPC shovel from Komatsu, where it went into operation in demanding conditions, high hardness and abrasiveness in Anglo American’s Mogalakewna platinum mine earlier this year. The first unit was put into operation at Fording River coal mine in 2019.