Austin Engineering Limited says it has sold its first Mainetec-designed dipper bucket into the US market, with the Armadillo electric rope shovel dipper bucket set to be delivered to a large copper mine in the US by mid-2024.
These dipper buckets typically sell for between $1.5-$2 million each depending on configuration specifics, according to Austin.
Austin acquired dipper bucket specialist, Mainetec, in 2022. The Armadillo bucket will be designed in Australia, manufactured in Austin’s facility in Batam, Indonesia, and will be supported by Austin’s US business in Casper, Wyoming.
The Armadillo dipper bucket is a light, strong bucket designed to achieve consistently higher payload and improved fill factor, while using less energy to dig compared with the standard unit, Austin said. This reduces operating cycle times and thereby reduces overall fuel cost and carbon emissions.
The dipper bucket will be fitted with the latest version of Mainetec’s proprietary door latching and control system, iTrip. Already widely used in Australia, iTrip dramatically reduces maintenance intervals and increases the service life of the components, Austin says. The system has proven to increase the standard dipper service life between overhauls by up to 18 months. Under the contract, Austin will also supply spare components for the iTrip system.
A unique aspect of Austin and Mainetec’s global bucket offering is that all of the buckets are customised to individual sites and orebodies.
Earlier this year, Austin announced plans to grow its US business by focusing on increasing market share for haul truck trays and, in particular, mining buckets.
Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are pleased to have secured the first sale of a Mainetec bucket to into the major US market. This sale also showcases Austin’s ability to leverage its global capabilities around design, manufacture, and delivery, under our Austin 2.0 strategy.
“The Armadillo is a new generation, high performance product designed in Australia by Mainetec, built in our manufacturing hub in Batam, Indonesia, and assembled and delivered by our business in the US. This integrated ‘hub and spoke’ approach to product delivery is becoming a standard feature of our international business.
“This sale is a synergy benefit related to the acquisition of Mainetec in 2022, where we can offer Mainetec’s buckets globally using Austin’s routes to market. We believe that the market for replacement dipper buckets in the Americas alone could be worth over A$100 million ($68 million) per annum in addition to bucket rebuilds and spares from the iTrip system.”