Tag Archives: Liebherr

Evolution Mining studying open-pit, underground expansion options at Cowal

Evolution Mining says it is embarking on a prefeasibility study to further expand its Cowal open-pit mine as part of a plan to build towards 350,000 oz/y of sustainable, reliable, low-cost gold production from the New South Wales operation.

Currently on the E42 stage H cutback, Evolution said during a recent site visit that there is potential to further the life of the open pit by accessing feed from the E41 and E46 satellite pits. The study looking into a possible expansion is due later this year, with the company saying it could provide long-term base load ore feed for the operation.

The mine produced 262,000 ounces in Evolution’s 2020 financial year.

The Stage H cutback the company is currently pursuing is expected to see increased ore volumes and grade mined in the first six months of this year, with the strip ratio to fall below 1:1 in its 2023 financial year, Evolution said. It also says an equipment strategy review is underway, with opportunities to “rationalise fleet” with reduced re-handling.

The haulage and loading fleet at Cowal currently consists of 20 Cat 789C dump trucks, three Cat 785C trucks, four excavators (one Liebherr 9400, one Liebherr 994B, one Liebherr 9200 and one Hitachi EX1200), plus three Cat 992G wheel loaders. It also has six hired Epiroc SmartROC surface drills at the operation, one Drill Rigs Australia GC600 drill rig, five Cat D10T tracked dozers and one Cat 834H wheel dozer.

The open-pit expansion is only part of the expansion story at Cowal, with a feasibility study underway on an underground operation. This is factoring in 3 Moz of resources and 1 Moz of reserves, with high-grade orebodies open at depth, the company says.

A second decline (Galway) is due to be developed at Cowal this year, with diamond drilling set to commence next month. The 14,300 m of planned drilling will, the company says, help confirm optimal grade control parameters and convert resources to reserves.

Evolution Mining also has a permit to increase processing capacity at Cowal to 9.8 Mt/y, with near-term incremental improvements targeting a circa-9 Mt/y rate.

The process flowsheet at Cowal includes primary crushing with a Metso Outotec 54-75 Superior MK-II gyratory, grinding with an FLSmidth 36 ft (11 m) x 20.5 ft (6.2 m) SAG mill and FLSmidth 22 ft x 36.5 ft ball mill, and screening with Schenck and Delkor screens. Sandvik H6800 hydroconecone crushers, Metso Outotec flotation cells, a Metso Outotec Vertimill, and Metso Outotec stirred media detritors also feature.

Evolution also said it is testing technology that uses glycine and cyanide during the cyanidation process of gold ore at Cowal for potential significant cost savings and environmental benefits.

Lab trials with the GlyCat™ technology from Australia-based Mining and Process Solutions have been completed successfully, it said, with the next phase being pilot plant trials to assess variability tests and long-term environmental impacts.

Liebherr launches its R 9600 hydraulic mining excavator, part of a new generation

After years of development, the Mining Division of the Liebherr Group has launched today the new R 9600 hydraulic excavator. This 600 t excavator, it says, sets new standards in the open-pit mining market. The successor of the popular Liebherr R 996B has entered the market after gaining a year of field experience in Australia, the largest market for 600 t class excavators. This new development builds on years of customer-centric research and is based upon the successful R 9800 800 t excavator. A total of eight units will be operating in Australia by the end if 2021. The R 9600 will enter serial production at the end of this year.

Customer input has played an important and pivotal role in the development of this new machine. Engineering, sales and marketing teams have collected feedback and insights from mine site equipment operators, maintenance personnel and procurement groups as well as executive management to have a clear understanding of the challenges they meet every day.

The new R 9600 aims to reach the highest standard in terms of safety, sustainability, performance, lifetime, total cost of ownership (TCO), ease of maintenance and more. After testing the first prototypes at the factory proving grounds in Colmar, France, in early 2020, the first R 9600 pre-series excavators started operating in iron ore and coal applications in Australia. Liebherr, together with its two very important customers, BHP and Thiess, started the partnered validation of the first two units in the field. Backed by this succesful validation phase, the R 9600 is ready to enter the global market.

Diverse offering of powertrains including electric drive

The R 9600 is equipped with two QSK50 Cummins engines with advanced combustion technologies. Understanding that fuel costs form the major portion of the TCO for mining machines, Liebherr has developed and implemented LPE  (Liebherr Power Efficiency) solutions. These proprietary management systems for the engine and hydraulic system controls substantially reduce fuel consumption without compromising the overall productivity of the machine. These new features grant also an additional step toward the Liebherr emission reduction solutions. For emission-regulated regions, a US EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage V compliant version is available with the latest SCR after-treatment technology. Complying with stringent emission regulations, the SCR system reduces nitrogen oxides by injecting a liquid reductant into the exhaust stream. An electric drive version will be available soon, a productive choice for mine sites having the required electrical infrastructure.

Weight-optimised attachment

The R 9600 attachment makes use of smart component design such as the patented “EVO” backhoe bucket, hydraulic cylinders, shift levers, bucket links and attachment pins. The result is an increased overall production rate without compromising component lifetime. In standard backhoe configuration with a Heavy Duty wear package, the R 9600 comes with a 37.5 m³/49.1 yd³ bucket to deliver an ideal truck/shovel match with Liebherr mining trucks. It loads 190 t trucks in three passes, T 264 240 t trucks in four passes, T 274 300 t trucks in five passes and T 284 375 t trucks in six passes. The excavator is also available in face shovel configuration equipped with a 37 m³/48.4 yd³ shovel, as standard with a Heavy Duty wear package.

Long-lasting performance

Designed to be used in all applications globally, the R 9600 is built to last over 80,000 machine operational hours. Further improving machine reliability, the uppercarriage structure is a completely new development. The robust undercarriage, with a fatigue resistant steel structure, is enhanced with a new hydraulic track tensioning system. The standard sealed for life heavy-duty carrier and track rollers incorporate the patented roller path design and registered track pad design. As an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Liebherr has built a solid reputation in the development and production of high quality components for mining applications. The R 9600 benefits from this reputation through reliable components that are developed and manufactured by Liebherr. The R 9600 utilises the latest quality control systems to ensure the best reliability and highest performance.

The latest cabin generation

The R 9600 has a brand-new cabin designed by operators for operators – it is a first-class, state of the art 14 m³/150 ft³ working space. The cab design reduces vibrations and limits noise to 69 dB, providing a comfortable working environment for the operator. To allow for the best possible working conditions, Liebherr engineers have placed the cab of the R 996 successor back on the left side, standardising with other excavators in the range. The operator’s seat has been positioned as far left as possible in order to provide the best operator visibility of the attachment and working area. Ambient and low-level LED lights make working at night easier and safer. The operator station is user-friendly and equipped with modern touch screen displays. The air conditioning system for the cabin is a modular design concept which is easily exchanged as a rotable component, as single or dual air conditioning systems are available. To further enhance the operator comfort, vacuum cleaner, premium cooled seats, HEPA filtration system and many more features are available. The R 9600 offers a superior machine perimeter visibility system comprising of four cameras at strategic locations on the rotating uppercarriage. The dedicated monitor inside the cabin provides continuous 270° vision around the machine.

Assistance Systems and on-board controls

Setting new standards in the mining industry, the R 9600 is equipped with the Liebherr Assistance Systems. These advanced on-board applications are designed to support the operators in becoming more efficient through analytics and actionable insights from live data. The Truck Loading Assistant helps the operator attain optimal productivity and efficiency. With 99% measurement accuracy, the system measures the instantaneous bucket payload and provides real-time information to the operator. The Truck Loading Assistant strategises the number of passes required to achieve the target payload of the truck, and also provides a progressive update in achieving the strategy.

In addition, to provide operators and customers with productivity KPIs of the machine performance, the severity of the application and the operational conformance of the machine is realised in real-time on the machine. The first Liebherr hydraulic excavator (HEX) Automation Product introduced to the mining industry is the Bucket Filling Assistant, an adaptive or semi-autonomous digging product available as an option for the backhoe version of machines. It allows for easier and faster bucket filling with a consistent bucket fill factor, load after load, even in the toughest digging conditions. As a result, the overall productivity improves while the operator’s fatigue level is reduced.

Designed for safe 24/7 operation and maintenance

Liebherr product development is centred around protecting the customer’s most important assets. The R 9600 was designed with respect to global safety standards for operators and maintenance personnel, ensuring that safety remains a top priority at all times. The upper carriage of the R 9600 has been designed to allow for quick and easy maintenance activities, and is accessible via a hydraulically controlled ergonomic 45° stairway. Enlarged walkways with handrails and non-slip perforated steps allow for safe and convenient inspections and maintenance at all levels of the machine, including engine and powertrain components. All major parts have been designed and positioned to allow easy access and quicker maintenance. The central service flap provides fluid and lubricant access to all components and systems, which reduces potential downtimes. Component and system refill and drain points of the R 9600 are accessible from ground level with quick couplings and depressurising valves.

R 9600 continues to write the success story

The R 9600 builds on two strong models of the Liebherr mining excavator portfolio: the R 996B and the R 9800. The first R 996 was introduced in 1995, followed by the R 996B in 2000.

“This very popular machine has been the benchmark in the mining market for the past 25 years, especially in Australia, where over 70% of these excavators have or are operating today accumulating 5.5 million machine hours,” the company said. “The R 9600 is not only further building on the success of its predecessor but is also inspired by its big brother, the popular 800 t R 9800, sharing a long list of components that have been proven on the R 9800 over the past 10 years. As with all Liebherr mining equipment, the predecessor models R 996 and R 996B will continue to be supported with remanufacturing, repair and customer support services for the duration of the machine’s lifetime.”

Liebherr-Mining cuts emissions, costs with new equipment transport route

Each year, about 1,000 so-called “exceptional” trucks are needed to transport the mining machines assembled by Liebherr-Mining Equipment Colmar SAS to the Belgian seaports to join mine sites around the world in the likes of Australia, Africa and Asia.

In June 2019, the company challenged itself to shift the pre-haulage to the seaports from road to river and, after 18 months of experimentation, the ecological and economical results have proven very positive, with the company deciding to pursue its efforts.

Before starting this project, Liebherr-Mining conducted an in-depth study on the modal shift, 50% financed by Voies Navigables de France (VNF – Inland waterway association) Strasbourg and with the help of an international consulting company. This funding is part of PARM (assistance plan for modal shifts) piloted by VNF and intended to support companies wishing to move to river transport.

Established in Colmar for almost 60 years, the company decided to contribute to the development and competitiveness of the region by working with local firms. Thus, the pre-haulage from the factory to the Rhine port was entrusted to the two Alsatian carriers Straumann (Colmar) and Wack (Obernai and Drulingen). The barging company is Haeger & Schmidt Logistics.

One of the first positive aspects of river transport is the reduction of environmental footprint. For the same amount of goods transported, a barge will consume three to four times less energy than a truck and emit up to five times less CO2, the company claims

By reducing road traffic, noise pollution is also reduced because river transport is a quieter mode of transport.

Over the 18 month trial, Liebherr-Mining Equipment Colmar shipped 148 machines/1,600 packages, or 27,000 t, spread over 60 barges. For the environment, this represented a saving of 800,000 km on the road and 868,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

River transportation comes with numerous other advantages. With an almost zero accident rate, the river is a safe mode of transport – the absence of traffic saturation and the presence of loading software guarantee the perfect stability of the boats, Liebherr says.

In terms of deadlines, a machine ready for dispatch on Friday morning can be at the seaport (Antwerp or Zeebrugge) on Monday morning. For many types of goods, if the flow is industrialised and if the company commits to a forecast volume, river transport is also a less expensive solution. Liebherr in Colmar was able to save money thanks to river transport.

This pre-haulage strategy initiated by the mining division has opened up a new path in the Liebherr Group. Other factories in the group are now studying the possibility of following the same path, the company says.

MacKellar Group adds to Liebherr T 264 haul truck fleet at Anglo’s Dawson mine

MacKellar Mining has almost doubled the size of its Liebherr T 264 off-highway haul truck fleet at Anglo American’s majority-owned Dawson open-pit metallurgical coal mine in central Queensland, Australia.

The mining contractor has purchased another four Liebherr T 264 240 t trucks, adding to the fleet of five commissioned at Dawson in early 2020.

The four new T 264s, manufactured in Liebherr Newport News facility in Virginia, USA, will complete pre-assembly in Mackay before travelling inland to Dawson Mine for final commissioning, Liebherr said. The plan is for the trucks to join the working fleet in early 2021.

MacKellar Group said of the decision: “The T 264 provides efficient productivity for our clients by offering a true 240 metric tonne payload, and superior speed on grade. The many operator comforts also makes the trucks well accepted on site.”

The fleet of trucks at Dawson mine, owned 51% by Anglo American and 49% by Mitsui Holdings, are supported by Liebherr-Australia’s Mackay branch and on site Liebherr technicians, another area that assisted the purchase of the additional four units.

“Liebherr-Australia’s support has been excellent, starting from the beginning with the provision of professional operator training, through to support from their experienced technicians,” MacKellar Group concluded.

Nornickel bolsters modernisation and automation efforts with new equipment, solutions

MMC Norilsk Nickel says its Polar Division has received a new batch of equipment to improve the efficiency of operations as part of a group-wide program aimed at the modernisation and automation of its production facilities in Russia.

In addition to the new equipment deliveries at the Polar Division, autonomous vehicle devices have reached the second stage of testing at the Severny mine at Kola MMC, the company noted.

Under the equipment renovation program, the Polar Division received 25 units of mobile equipment for various purposes in 2020. The total value of the equipment delivered to the Polar Division amounts to around $8 million.

“This year, we received two Sandvik TH545 dump trucks, and they went into operation at the end of October,” Alexander Chistyakov, Deputy Director of the Severny Mine, said. “The third vehicle is under customs clearance and will soon be at the disposal of the miners.”

In addition, the company is also planning to purchase 20 55-t payload BELAZ 7555B mining trucks, plus seven Liebherr PR 764 dozers and two Caterpillar 990 Series II wheel loaders.

In all, Norilsk Nickel plans to spend about $20 million on the purchase of the equipment, with over 90% of the specified equipment to be transferred to the Taimyr region by the end of November.

Chistyakov added: “At the heart of the program for replacing self-propelled diesel equipment is an increase in the volume of cargo transportation, which is solved by increasing the volume of the cargo area. The new dump truck is distinguished by its structure and dimensions. The main advantage is the increased carrying capacity, which is 45 t.”

The fleet of self-propelled diesel equipment at the Severny mine is being replenished with various new types of machinery. Two Epiroc Boomer S2 face drilling rigs and an Epiroc Simba rotary drilling rig are expected to arrive by the beginning of 2021.

The total cost of the mining equipment expected to arrive by the end of 2020 at Severny is estimated at more than $6.5 million.

Meanwhile, the second stage of tests of autonomous vehicle devices has been launched at the Severny mine in the Kola region, Nornickel said.

The Nornickel Digital Laboratory is in the process of developing an advanced autonomous vehicle platform for deployment in the company’s mines. The project is being carried out within the framework of the company’s strategic goals, aimed at maximising automation and digitalisation of production processes, and ultimately achieving unstaffed mining operations.

Kola MMC has been closely cooperating with the Digital Laboratory since 2018. A joint pilot project – ‘Monitoring Compliance with Personal Protective Equipment’ – was launched as part of the cooperation effort. Further plans include the implementation of the ‘Remote control of self-propelled equipment at the mine’ project, Nornickel said.

National Group ups the excavating ante at NSW gold mine with Liebherr R 9200

National Group, through National Plant & Equipment, has supplied a Liebherr R 9200 excavator to an open-pit gold mine in western New South Wales, Australia.

The Liebherr R 9200 offers the biggest payload in its class with the 12.5 cu.m bucket capacity enabling sustainable performance and peak fuel burn efficiency in the most challenging conditions, according to the OEM.

Equipped with a Cummins QSK38 engine, with a rating of 810 kW at 1,800 revolutions per minute, the R 9200 is available powered by both diesel and electric motors. It can also be fitted with backhoe and face shovel attachments.

National Group Managing Director, Mark Ackroyd, said the arrival of the Liebherr R 9200 had further diversified the company’s already impressive fleet of equipment.

“The feedback from site is that the Liebherr R 9200 has been very well received,” Ackroyd told Australian Mining. “Our customers have been impressed with the performance of the Liebherr R 9200; it’s a very good machine and is competitive with other machines of a similar size and type.”

National Group is known across Australia for its dry hire of heavy earthmoving equipment. Working alongside Liebherr, it selected the R 9200 excavator for site, applying the joint understanding of the mine, the work being completed there and previous success using Liebherr equipment.

Liebherr-Australia Major Account Manager, Ben Kerr, explained: “Liebherr’s relationship with National, and understanding of the gold mine site requirements, allowed us to put forward the appropriate sized excavator and tailored bucket size to suit both National’s and site’s requirements.

“The addition of this R 9200 to National’s fleet further expands their range of mining equipment, building on the strong relationship and ease of doing business between the two companies.”

Liebherr-Canada increases northern Ontario exposure with new branch

Liebherr-Canada has opened a new branch in the mining-rich region of Sudbury, Ontario.

The branch will enhance service to customers throughout northern Ontario, continuing the company’s expansion in the Canada market, it said.

“Recognising the importance of projects in northern Ontario, the new branch brings Liebherr equipment specialists closer to existing customers and provides dedicated local service in the region,” it said.

Liebherr’s Sudbury branch is its 10th in Canada and second in Ontario (Liebherr-Canada’s headquarters are in Burlington, Ontario), serving as its northern Ontario hub and providing rapid technical assistance, field service, and local parts distribution to its customers, it said.

Austin Engineering on the importance of payload matching

Austin Engineering’s David Pichanick thinks miners need to keep payload matching front and centre of their minds when looking to add to, refresh or replace their truck and shovel haulage fleet.

Why payload matching and what’s involved in matching an excavator to a truck?

According to Pichanick, Global Manager Market Development & Innovation at Brisbane-based Austin Engineering, the answers are efficiency, productivity and profit, and understanding factors such as site conditions, load and haul equipment and production targets.

Anecdotal research has revealed payload matching around achieving lowest cost per tonne is not well understood within the mining industry, according to Austin. Irrespective of the loading tool (excavator, shovel or wheel loader), the accepted goal is to get the payload consistent over time to maximise productivity and production.

Buying the right equipment package – loading tool and dump bodies – is vital and history has shown that the bigger the capital expenditure up front, the better the return on that investment, particularly around reliability and availability, Austin says.

“The loading tool comes first, followed by the dump trucks,” the company said. “And, ironically, depending on the equipment package, that could be the start of issues of reduced load and haul productivity.”

Pichanick says the most efficient bucket, excavator and truck combination currently in Australia is a Liebherr R9800 three-pass loading Komatsu 930E-5 dump trucks, fitted with Austin ‘Ultima’ bodies. Released last year, the new Ultima dump truck body has, Austin says, a unique ‘V’ profile floor that is designed to actively channel the load to the centre of the tray.

What makes this combination so efficient and consistent?

Every excavator and truck manufacturer will provide researched and validated tables and graphs that show the best truck and excavator combination, of their brand, to maximise payloads, Austin says. The problem arises when customers don’t buy the same brand of trucks as the excavator, or vice versa.

For reasons of price, contracts, preference and proven performance history, many miners will purchase an excavator from OEM ‘A’ and trucks from OEM ‘B’. And because the bodies on the trucks are not matched – as set by the manufacturer – to the loading tool, the concept of payload matching enters a grey area, productivity drops and costs around load and haul increase markedly, the company says.

This mismatching becomes apparent on site as truck OEMs look at variations in the 10/10/20 rule to maximise payloads and the direct effect the specific gravity (SG) of the product has on loads. And, although unique, these two elements have a close correlation when loads and capacities are being decided, according to Austin.

“The 10/10/20 rule has long been recognised as a reliable reference for truck payloads and recognises that variations occur in SG, fill factors and loading equipment,” the company said. “However, in an attempt to optimise payload capacity, truck OEMs are negotiating flexibility around the rule depending on reliable SG readings. Today, SG readings are coming from the digital technology available in the latest loading tools; technology that measures payload per pass and lets loading tool operators see if the SG is changing. This is a much safer system than waiting till the load is on the truck.”

Austin Engineering has a vested interest in any discussions around payload matching. The company designs and manufactures custom-designed excavator buckets and truck bodies for the mining industry but, as an independent OEM, can be objective about its recommendations around payload optimisation, it says. Austin conforms to all OEM specifications, globally.

The company has invested heavily in advanced software to match loading tools to truck bodies and, argues Pichanick, devotes a lot of time and effort to the science of payload matching and, by extension, maximising productivity and profit for the end user.

Which brings the discussion back to the Liebherr R9800 and Komatsu 930E-5 dump trucks – possibly the most efficient excavator and truck combination in Australia now.

“We were asked to provide the truck bodies,” Pichanick said. “The customer didn’t want the excavator/truck combination suggested by either supplier but purchased the equipment package they believe will maximise the return – in terms of performance, availability and reliability – over the longer term. Our bodies were custom built to fit the trucks and complement the capabilities of the excavator. The load and haul tonnages they are generating confirm the buying decision.”

From Pichanick’s point of view, this is the true proof of successful payload matching.

Premier Coal replenishes fleet with Liebherr R 9400

Premier Coal has recently taken delivery of a new Liebherr R 9400 hydraulic excavator at its operation in the Collie Coal Basin of Western Australia.

The new R 9400, which was delivered to the Yancoal Australia subsidiary earlier this month, will replace a R 994B on site and join another R 994B, a R 995 and two R 996Bs in the excavator fleet, Liebherr said.

The R 9400 follows the Liebherr design philosophy of maximising the machine’s performance by improving the efficiency of all individual subsystems. Engineered for optimum serviceability the machine is designed to ensure maximum uptime, the OEM said.

Designed for rough application, the R 9400’s heavy-duty three-piece fatigue-resistant undercarriage provides efficient superstructure weight distribution and reduces ground-bearing pressure enabling the necessary stability and reliability, according to Liebherr.

Premier Coal is Western Australia’s largest coal producer, mining about 4 Mt/y, according to the company. It is managed by Yancoal Australia on behalf of its majority shareholder Yanzhou Coal Mining Company.

A modern open-pit operation, Premier has a 240 t truck and large shovel fleet along with crushing, blending, and train and truck loading facilities, it said.

Premier’s coal has outstanding combustion characteristics, according to the company, as well as low ash and sulphur making it suitable for many applications including steam raising (power generation), cement making, and direct heat reduction. Its coal is currently used to generate the bulk of Western Australia’s power supplies, Premier said. It is also used in alumina and synthetic rutile production.

Demand for OEM simulators, conversion kits high, Immersive Tech says

Immersive Technologies says it has engaged in an “unprecedented level” of mining machine simulator development for a diverse range of original equipment manufacturers (OEM) over the past year.

This trend is set to continue with projects underway for new and existing customers to build simulators for heavy machinery manufactured by BELAZ, Caterpillar, Epiroc, Hitachi, Iveco, Komatsu, Liebherr, MACK and Volvo, the company said.

In the last 12 months, Immersive Technologies has released new simulator modules (Conversion Kits®), for Cat Line of Sight Remote Control, Cat 777E Truck, Komatsu 930E-5 Truck, Liebherr R9200 Excavator, Sandvik DD311-40C Jumbo, Volvo FH16 Light Truck and many more, it said.

Investment in Conversion Kits for multiple OEM machines is continuing unabated with projects in development within the next months for: BELAZ 75131 Truck, Cat 994K Wheel Loader, Hitachi EX5600-7 Shovel, Komatsu 730E-8 Truck, Letourneau L-2350 Gen 2 Wheel Loader, Liebherr R9800 Excavator, Mack GU813E Light Truck and others.

Projects are underway to produce simulators for machines manufactured by BELAZ, Caterpillar, Epiroc (formerly Atlas Copco), Hitachi, Iveco, Komatsu, Liebherr, MACK and Volvo.

Wayde Salfinger, Executive Director – Marketing at Immersive Technologies, said: “Our investment in simulators for a diverse range of OEM’s machines is increasing, driven by demand from our customers. Immersive has always and will continue to be focused foremost on the needs of our customers, most of whom operate mixed OEM fleets.”

Salfinger added: “Immersive Technologies’ acquisition by Komatsu will not change our strategy, we will continue to support machines from all OEMs; that’s what our customers expect.” Komatsu announced, just last month, that it would acquire the mining simulation and training specialist.

Immersive Technologies credits its ongoing growth in demand on its proven and verifiable success in increasing mine profitability by optimising the safety and productivity of equipment operators. “These results are driven by a clear focus on integrating people, process, and technology to reduce risk, quantify training impact and effectively managing the training process,” the company said.