Tag Archives: dozers

Cat’s new D9 dozer set for mining market splash

Caterpillar is in the process of building the first new D9 large track-type tractors for the international market as you read this, with the popular mining dozer set to benefit from significant upgrades.

Nearly half of all Cat large dozers sold are D9s, with many of these workhorses regularly on show at mine operations across the globe. They compete in the same 400 horsepower (298 kWh)/50-ton (45-t) size class as the Komatsu D275 and Liebherr PR766/PR764.

Reviewing machine updates during a press event in late March, Todd Cole, Cat’s D9 Dozer Cat Application Specialist, listed off several reasons why miners might want to consider buying a machine for their earthmoving needs:

A 5% reduction in fuel consumption, as much as a 4% cut in maintenance and repair costs, a newly integrated Caterpillar AutoLube system, a quick opening hinged door for radiator access, safer underside maintenance inspections…the list goes on.

Many of these benefits, when combined, account for an up to 3% lower overall cost per unit in terms of bank cubic metres.

A 10-in cab display interface with HD multi-colour touchscreen enables users to navigate through various machine diagnostics, plus monitor the action of the ripper behind. There is also an optional four-camera system offering 360-degree view around the machine to further enhance operating safety.

Numerous grease point eliminations on the D9, compared with the D9T predecessor, further improve operational longevity and operating costs.

The fuel consumption benefits are felt thanks to a stator clutch torque converter that, according to Cole, frees up when torque multiplication is not needed (when tramming, for instance). This improved drivetrain efficiency and leads to less fuel consumption, which, when combined with a fuel tank that has 6% extra capacity over its predecessor, means the dozer runs for longer.

In terms of the undercarriage, customers can select from not one, but three factory-fitted link assembly options.

The Cat Heavy Duty Extended Life (HDXL) Undercarriage System with DuraLink™ is field proven to deliver 20-40% longer wear life in moderate- to high-impact applications such as hard rock, landfill and forestry, according to Cat. The Heavy Duty (HD) and General Duty links provide further options for less abrasive conditions.

The new dozer features the Cat C18 engine, which has a range of exhaust after-treatment solutions available that brings it in-line with US EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage V regulations, and configurations equivalent to US EPA Tier 2 and Tier 3.

With remote control operation also in the works for the new dozer, according to Cole, expect to see even more D9s running around mine sites in the next few years.

Capital builds up mining fleet for Sukari gold mine work

Capital is well on the way to securing a suitable fleet to carry out the open-pit waste mining contract at Centamin’s Sukari gold mine, with additional trucks recently arriving in Egypt and payments “significantly progressed” for all major long lead equipment required to service the operation.

Equity proceeds from the recent $40 million share placing were received in late December 2020, facilitating these further payments, according to Capital.

The 120 Mt open-pit waste mining contract at Sukari will see Capital provide load and haul and ancillary services over a period of four years. At the same time, the existing drilling contract at Sukari has been extended to December 31, 2024, (from September 30, 2023) and expanded by nine additional blasthole rigs, bringing the rigs operating at Sukari to 24 in total.

Included in the long lead items are 17 Cat 785 dump trucks, seven blasthole drill rigs, three excavators, and all major ancillary support equipment including dozers, graders and water trucks. Capital said additional trucks had recently arrived in Egypt, supplementing the initial truck fleet that arrived during the December quarter of 2020.

Capital also said it has made substantial progress on several of the debt facilities contemplated in the capital raising prospectus related to the Sukari contract including:

  • Executing the $2.6 million vendor finance agreement with Epiroc with full draw down against the purchase of three new blasthole rigs;
  • Fully drawing down on the remaining tranches of the $10 million Macquarie facility following finalisation of the Sukari contracts and security registration in Egypt; and
  • The committed and available vendor finance facility with Sandvik for $8.5 million is expected to be used over the course of the March quarter against the purchase of four new blasthole rigs.

Jamie Boyton, Capital Executive Chairman, said it was pleasing to note that site activity was progressing well with the continued expansion of its extensive on-site facilities, “further asset arrivals and the recruitment of key personnel to prepare for the commencement of preliminary mining activity in late Q1 (March quarter) as planned”.

Strandline’s Coburn mineral sands project to go mobile with Piacentini dozers

Strandline Resources says it has taken another important step towards development of its Coburn mineral sands project in Western Australia by appointing Piacentini & Son to design and construct three mobile dozer mining units for the project.

The scope of the A$21 million ($15.3 million) fixed-price contract forms a key part of Coburn’s efficient dry mining methodology, capable of receiving, screening and pumping ore from the mine to the processing facilities at an average rate of 3,100 t/h, based on two units in operation at any one time, it said.

The contract follows Strandline’s recent A$18.5 million equity raising to advance early works development activities while finalising the balance of project funding. Strandline says it is making solid progress towards definitive finance documentation and conditions precedent for the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility A$150 million loan facility and is advancing discussions on the commercial debt tranche which is expected to stand alongside.

Coburn has a JORC compliant mineral resource of 1.6 Bt at 1.2% total heavy mineral (THM), classified as 119 Mt measured, 607 Mt indicated, and 880 Mt inferred. The ore reserve comes in at 523 Mt grading 1.11% THM for circa-5.8 Mt of contained heavy mineral, underpinning an initial mine life of 22.5 years at a mining rate of 23.4 Mt/y.

Last month, Strandline appointed Macmahon as the principal contractor to provide site-wide civil and bulk earthworks construction services for the project. The company is also expected to carry out contract mining at the site.

Strandline says the in-pit dozer mining units from Piacentini are designed to be frequently relocated as the mine progresses through the mine plan.

The parties have agreed final contract documentation based on a fixed price, fixed schedule arrangement, in line with the assumptions contained within the Coburn definitive feasibility study, Strandline added.

“The agreement is subject to standard conditions precedent regarding the development of the project and Strandline releasing a formal notice to proceed to commence the works under contract,” the company clarified.

RCT teleremote tech to improve dozer operator safety at PNG gold mine

RCT says it has completed a project to commission its ControlMaster® technology on dozers at a major gold mining operation in Papua New Guinea.

The Australia-based automation specialist has installed and commissioned its ControlMaster Line-of-Sight solution on two Komatsu D275 dozers at the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine.

The technology packages will enable the mine operator to clear landslip in the mine’s central pit, RCT said.

Going forward, the site’s machine operators can stand at a safe distance and direct the dozers to operate beneath the pit’s highwall.

RCT Account Manager, Wayne Carrington, said the solution is an integral part of safe mine operations.

“Mine management are pleased that they can undertake necessary activities within the central pit while ensuring dozer operators are safe,” he said.

RCT says it will provide training to machine operators and ongoing after sales support as required.

Bis to keep moving coal at AGL power stations in Australia

Resources logistics provider Bis has been awarded an extension to its long-term contract with AGL Macquarie (AGL), which will see it continue to provide equipment hire and site services at the company’s two power generation facilities in the upper Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Australia.

Bis has provided mobile plant and site services, including the supply of key primary dozers for coal stockpile management, to AGL’s Bayswater and Liddell power stations for the past 21 years.

Bis Chief Operating Officer, Michael Porter, said: “We are delighted that our long standing relationship with AGL has again been extended, allowing us to continue to deliver value through our committed team at this location. Underpinning the delivery of the contract is our focus on safe operations, with a Zero Harm commitment that has resulted in an excellent safety record of zero lost time injuries over more than 20 years of working at this site.”

Bis General Manager – Mining Services North East, Drew Sargeant, said Bis has an excellent working relationship with AGL, and a reputation for driving operational efficiencies at this location.

“As the energy sector evolves, Bis will continue working with our customer to identify further opportunities for improvement in delivering safety and productivity efficiencies,” Sargeant said.

BMA Blackwater coal mine starts up new gen Cat D11 dozer

The first Caterpillar new generation D11 dozer in the world has started work at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Blackwater coal mine in Queensland, Australia, according to mining, resources, transport and logistics group National Group.

National Group secured the first of these dozers earlier this month from Cat dealer Hastings Deering as part of an order that would see six of these machines hauled by its National Heavy Haulage subsidiary, the company said.

While the specifics of this new dozer are not yet known, Cat did plan to launch an update to its D11 earlier this year. This would have seen the machine receive new load-sensing hydraulics and new drivetrain components among other additions.

BMA’s Blackwater coal mine, in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, produced close to 2.1 Mt of coal in the most recent September quarter, according to BHP.

In a Hastings Deering release in mid-December, National Group’s Managing Director, Mark Ackroyd, said: “The D11 is the industry’s best large dozer so it was a logical choice for us to bring in six new dozers to add to our expansive fleet.”

Along with load sensing hydraulics reducing fuel burn, the new D11 will extend out component life from fuel burn to overhaul, according to the company. Caterpillar has developed this machine to ensure faster cycle times to produce more dirt at a lower cost per tonne, National Group added.

Ackroyd said the contribution the dozers will add to production and efficiency will boost overall performance on site. “We expect to lower maintenance and repair costs by up to 5% thanks to a new case and frame design, improved bearings, redesigned pin joints, and a 30% larger oil pan.”

Jason Garea, Mining Account Manager at Hastings Deering, said: “There is a single frame now used between both the D11 standard dozer and the carry dozer applications. It’s a beefed-up frame that now does both.”

National Group has lined up all six dozers to be fitted with the new Reclamation blade, or XU Blade, which takes the dozer from a 34 cu.meter blade, to a 42.2 cu.m, according to Garea. “The best thing here is that it still handles like a U-Blade and can go into the same applications. They are far, far more productive which reduces the cost per tonne.”

The second D11 dozer is expected to be commissioned onsite at Blackwater in January.