Tag Archives: Liebherr

First Quantum to operate world’s largest ultra-class truck trolley fleet with Liebherr T 284

The day after announcing it will accelerate the implementation of its existing low carbon solutions and trigger future projects at MINExpo 2021, Liebherr has confirmed that it will supply a further 11 T 284 trucks to operate on trolley lines at First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML)’s Sentinel and Cobre Panama mines with the miner claiming, in the process, the title of the world’s largest ultra-class truck fleet on trolley.

In 2013, Liebherr received an initial request from FQML to develop a 360 t trolley-capable haul truck for mine sites in Panama and Zambia. The trucks were required to integrate with the trolley power line that FQML had designed and developed for the sites.

Agreeing to this partnership, Liebherr engineers began developing, testing and verifying the trolley solution. Two Liebherr T 284 trucks with the Trolley Assist System were commissioned at Sentinel copper mine in Zambia in 2016 and testing of the trolley solution began in February of 2017, with 12 months allotted for the customer to evaluate the trucks, the trolley and the customer service.

At the end of the trial period, FQML expressed it was pleased with the results of the Trolley Assist System and the performance of the T 284, leading to an order for six more trolley-capable T 284 trucks at Sentinel mine, along with 30-trolley-capable T 284 trucks for Cobre Panama copper mine in Panama, Liebherr says.

As a mark of success of the partnership between FQML and Liebherr, along with the performance of the T 284 with trolley solution, FQML recently confirmed an order for a further 11 T 284 trucks. These three trucks for Sentinel mine and eight trucks for Cobre Panama mine will join the existing fleets operating with the Trolley Assist System. This soon-to-be fleet of 38 T 284s in Panama will claim the title of the world’s largest ultra-class truck fleet on trolley, according to Liebherr.

“Trolley Assist truck systems have become integral to the development of First Quantum’s large scale open-pit truck haulage operations,” an FQML representative says. “Over the last decade, First Quantum has emerged as one of the industry leaders in implementation of Trolley Assist systems across mine planning and design, installation, operations, and maintenance. We consider our purpose designed Trolley Assist systems deliver a step change in measurable haulage performance through increased truck productivity, improved maintenance cost, and reduced carbon emissions.

“During the past five years, Liebherr has proven itself as a proactive partner in the development of Trolley Assist capable truck fleet systems. First Quantum has selected the Liebherr T 284 ultra-class truck for some of our Trolley Assist deployments at our large-scale mining operations in Zambia and, more recently, as the sole deployed truck at our Panama mining operations. With a high degree of co-operation between our organisations, we see this partnership continuing to grow in years to come.”

Oliver Hoelzer, Director of Mining Liebherr-Panamá, says: “Even before the arrival of the very first truck, Liebherr Panama’s relationship with FQML Panama has been more of a mutual partnership than a pure business relationship. Our highly committed team recognises that Liebherr’s own success is intrinsically linked to the success of FQML.”

Liebherr has also delivered six trolley-capable 100 t T 236 haul trucks to the Erzberg iron ore mine in Austria, bringing the total number of Liebherr trucks with the Trolley Assist System to 56 once FQML’s newest fleet has been commissioned.

Liebherr aims to offer fossil fuel free solutions for its entire digging, dozing, and hauling product range by 2030.

Liebherr open protocol autonomy solutions, Hexagon Mining pact come to light at MINExpo 2021

Liebherr has presented the world premiere of its new Mining Technology Product portfolio at MINExpo 2021, in Las Vegas, which, it says, defines the company’s interoperable and scalable approach to its equipment, technology and service product offerings.

The Liebherr Mining Technology Product portfolio includes Machine Automation, Digital Services and Assistance Systems & On-board Analytics product lines, providing customers with, it says, flexible scope of supply solutions to increase safety and asset operational effectiveness.

Together, these products will support operator’s performance, optimise diagnostic processes and automate machine functions, while integrating machine data and OEM expertise within the customers chosen technology landscapes, according to the company.

For automation of Liebherr trucks, excavators, and dozers, the company is developing the next generation of autonomous solutions with the utmost safety and operational efficiency, supported by an open and interoperable mine autonomy platform, it says.

“Interoperable mine autonomation provides customers with the freedom to choose their preferred combinations of equipment, on-board autonomous solutions, and central control platforms,” it says.

Autonomous haulage solution

Liebherr’s autonomous haulage solution delivers the next generation of on-board intelligence, with reduced dependency on site infrastructure and centralised supervisory systems. Together with vehicle-to-vehicle technologies, Liebherr’s smart autonomous solutions provide on-board obstacle avoidance and load area path planning capabilities for optimisation of traffic flow. Liebherr’s solutions offer a high level of safety integrity with the introduction of an eight-layer safety concept, in combination with the latest on-board perception technologies for long range, high resolution and 360° coverage, which is unique to the Liebherr offering, it claims.

Oliver Weiss, Executive Vice President R&D, Engineering and Manufacturing, Liebherr-Mining Equipment SAS, provides an overview of the new Autonomous Haulage Solution at MINExpo 2021

Liebherr offers flexible scope of supply solutions giving customers the freedom of choice in selection of best-in-class base machines, automation, traffic management and fleet management systems. These scalable solutions, Liebherr says, meet all use cases, ranging from stand-alone to fully integrated large-scale life of mine deployments:

  • Autonomy ready kit: machine designed and configured with drive-by-wire capability;
  • Autonomy kit: autonomous machine equipped with on-board perception and robotics, capable of integration via an open protocol to traffic management solutions;
  • Complete solution: complete autonomous haulage solution integrated with traffic and fleet management systems

Open protocol

Liebherr’s interoperable autonomy products for mixed fleet applications, have the capability to interface with multiple traffic and fleet management systems.

Liebherr has developed and, it says, proven the world’s first open software interface between its Autonomy Kit and independent suppliers of Traffic Management Systems (TMS). The protocol will not only enable customers to choose their preferred Traffic Management solution, but will also enable autonomous machines, including autonomous light vehicles, to coexist within a common autonomous ecosystem, according to the company.

The interface control document (ICD) developed by Liebherr enables the next generation of interoperable mine automation. Having proven the software interface with multiple TMS providers, Liebherr will now make its protocol available for wider industry adoption. The protocol will also be provided to the International Standards Organisation as Liebherr continues to pursue its vision of open interoperable mine automation for the benefit of the industry’s operators and suppliers.

Having just announced a global framework agreement, Liebherr and Hexagon Mining have integrated their complementary technology products using the open software interface, Liebherr says. As a result of this agreement, Hexagon technology, including its autonomous mission management system, will be used in the mine automation options offered by Liebherr to customers.

Hexagon said of this agreement: “The autonomous mission management system will orchestrate autonomous fleet and unmanned mine traffic movements throughout the mine for optimised autonomous haulage. It is fully integrated with our fleet management and enterprise analytics and reporting portfolio products.”

Andrew Crose, VP-Autonomous, Hexagon’s Mining division, added: “We are thrilled to partner with Liebherr, which shares our vision of an autonomous future and is equally committed to the safety of miners.

“We’re very proud of the autonomous mission management system. From one platform integrating multiple life-of-mine solutions, it embodies our mission to empower an autonomous future.”

“From the beginning, our approach has focused on developing machine automation solutions that are truly interoperable,” Scott Bellamy, Head of Product Management – Mining Trucks, Liebherr Mining, says. “As a result, our system architectures enable seamless integration at multiple layers to unlock value for customers that has not been possible until now.

“We’re looking forward to making some more exciting announcements in that regard as we continue to work with our business partners to deliver the next generation of machine automation.”

Excavator automation

Liebherr Mining excavators are designed with the technological foundations to enable the integration of the future automation systems. Liebherr Automation Readiness provides drive-by-wire capability with the required interfaces, technical support and access to excavator built-in functions, it says.

Liebherr offers on its new excavator generations on-board control and actuation systems to provide semi-automatic machine functions supporting the operator with productivity, consistency and safety performance.

The Bucket Filling Assistant (BFA) is the first automation product to support the Liebherr hydraulic excavator portfolio, paving the way towards machine automation. A combination of two innovative engineering developments, the Liebherr Bucket Filling Assistant allows faster and easier bucket filling with consistent bucket fill factors especially in blocky or hard digging conditions, according to the company. As a result, the overall effectiveness of bucket filling is maintained without being influenced by operator fatigue.

Semi-Automatic Bucket Filling allows the operator to realise the bucket filling cycle automatically with a single joystick movement.

Teleoperations for Liebherr dozers

Liebherr is developing new operational capabilities through teleoperation. This new technology will enhance operations and ease logistical challenges, moving the operators away from the field. Teleoperation associated with Liebherr automation systems will progressively change the way of operating excavators and dozer toward autonomous operations.

Introduced for the first time at MINExpo, Liebherr Remote Control (LiReCon) teleoperation system offers increased safety, comfort and productivity for the operation of Liebherr mining dozers in challenging and dangerous work conditions, the company says.

Suitable for all dozer applications, LiReCon is the result of continuous development from Liebherr and its expertise with dozers and teleoperation systems. This next generation teleoperation system consists of the Liebherr Remote Control teleoperation stand (an operator workspace with all required controls) and on-board dozer installations: cameras for all different angles and views, microphones for recording machine sounds, radio link receiver and transmitter.

The high-resolution main screen provides complete view of the worksite and around the dozer. The optional active person recognition system identifies people and obstacles in the work area further enhancing safety.

As standard, LiReCon uses a secure self-contained radio mesh network that can be extended by additional gateways, enabling high signal quality even in difficult terrain or long range. The LiReCon package can be tailored to each customer and mine site depending on their specific requirements and can also integrate into an existing network.

LiReCon allows fast shift changes between operators and reduces idle and downtime. As the operator is no longer tied to the machine, LiReCon also enables customers to access new extraction areas, safely extending the range of applications for Liebherr mining dozers.

Thiess bolsters Chile mining fleet with five Liebherr T 264 haul trucks

Thiess is expanding its 240-t fleet in Chile with five new electric drive Liebherr T 264 mining trucks, cementing its commitment to growth in the region.

Thiess’ Executive General Manager Americas, Darrell White, said the fleet addition would further bolster Thiess’ capability and deliver productivity and efficiency gains for clients.

“South America is essential to Thiess’ long-term growth and building our diversification into commodities such as copper and gold,” White said. “The T 264s boost our fleet numbers and provide our clients with the opportunity to increase production capacity.

“This commitment to new fleet follows our recent investment in infrastructure, which includes a dedicated maintenance workshop, and building workforce capability through in-house and industry scholarship and pathway programs.”

Liebherr Chile’s Mining Division Director, Dale Clayton, said the Liebherr partnership with Thiess spanned three decades and enabled new products to enter the market, including the recently upgraded T 264s to Chile.

“The T 264 truck has a 240-t nominal payload capacity and an impressive payload-to-empty-vehicle weight ratio, leading to faster acceleration speeds, better speed on grade and higher hauling capacity, resulting in shorter cycle times and a lower cost per tonne,” he said said. “The combination of a high-power Cummins QSK60 2,700 hp (2,013 kW) diesel engine with the extremely efficient Liebherr AC electric propulsion system allows for maximum productivity and reduced downtime.”

He added: “Our La Negra Facility and Reman Centre is well placed to provide spare parts and components as well as training and technical support, and our teams are experienced in servicing mining fleet in the unique conditions Chile offers.”

The T 264s will be manufactured at Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Co in Virginia, USA, and will then be shipped to Chile. Assembly of the trucks will take place at Liebherr’s La Negra Facility before being transported to site, ready for commissioning.

Liebherr plans interoperability, scalability and zero emissions announcements at MINExpo 2021

Liebherr will showcase its latest innovative equipment, technology and services for the mining industry at MINExpo 2021, with a world premiere of its brand-new Mining Technology Product portfolio and announcements related to its ‘zero emissions’ program likely to provide the ‘headlines’.

Covering a total area of more than 2,600 sq.m, Liebherr’s booth will present advancements from its Mining, Mobile Cranes and Components product segments during the Las Vegas show on September 13-15.

Liebherr Mining will display the R 9150 Generation 7 (G7) 130 t excavator, the next generation of excavator cab from the recently announced R 9600 G8, the PR 776 70 t mining dozer with LiReCon teleoperation system, the newly introduced T 274 305 t haul truck along with a display from Liebherr Components, and the LRT 1090-2.1 90 t rough terrain crane from Liebherr Mobile Cranes.

New developments and exciting announcements will be presented from Liebherr Mining’s new technology portfolio, as well as the pathway forward into low and zero emission mining, it said.

Attendees will be able to interact with new technologies through a virtual reality (VR) booth and discover Liebherr’s technology at daily masterclasses held with Liebherr experts. Those who cannot attend in person will not miss out, with all exhibits, announcements and showcases from the expo also delivered on Liebherr’s website and social media channels.

Liebherr will introduce three new excavators at MINExpo: the R 9150 Generation 7 (machine showcased on the booth), the R 9200 Generation 7, and the brand-new R 9600 Generation 8 (cabin showcased on the booth).

These three machines establish the new naming strategy based on technology levels for Liebherr machines, with this approach designed to achieve a common and long-term logic within the earthmoving and mining product ranges in a clear manner, Liebherr said.

All three excavators are equipped with the latest innovations including Liebherr Power Efficiency, Assistance Systems and Bucket Filling Assistant.

LPE (Liebherr Power Efficiency) is a specific engine and hydraulic management system, which drastically reduces fuel consumption by up to 20%, the company says.

Assistance Systems are advanced on-board applications designed to support the operator to become more efficient through analytics and actionable insights. These will be presented physically in the R 9600’s cabin and on tablets displayed on the booth. Visitors can also discover the Assistance Systems through an immersive experience in the VR area.

BFA, meanwhile, is the first automation product of the Liebherr hydraulic excavator portfolio, which allows the operator to realise the bucket filling process automatically.

T 274 mining truck

Liebherr has recently extended its product offering with the T 274, a class-leading 305 t haul truck. This new truck bridges the gap between the T 284 and T 264.

Designed and adapted from years of experience in mining truck development, the T 274 is a “true 305 t machine” that provides fast cycle times, higher production rates, low fuel consumption and a low cost per tonne, Liebherr said. This new truck follows the same base design as the T 284, benefitting from its decades of field experience. A wide range of options are available including the Liebherr Trolley Assist System and Liebherr Autonomy Kit.

PR 776 dozer and LiReCon teleoperation system

Liebherr will also showcase its flagship mining dozer, the PR 776 Litronic, which, the company says, delivers best-in-class efficiency. The machine will be on display together with the new LiReCon (Liebherr Remote Control, pictured at the top) Liebherr teleoperation system. LiReCon provides additional comfort and safety for operators in tough mining applications, according to the company.

Liebherr components and D98 diesel engine series

Liebherr components for mining applications will also feature at MINExpo. Among the components is the D98 diesel engine series, which is available for both Liebherr and other mining equipment manufacturers, for new and repowered machines. The V-16 engine of the D98 family, the D9816, will not only be on display at the booth but is also at the heart of the exhibited T 274 haul truck. This marks the beginning of the integration of the D98 series into Liebherr machines, Liebherr says.

LRT 1090-2.1 rough terrain crane

The LRT 1090-2.1 90 t rough terrain crane is designed to deliver the highest safety level.

Fitted as standard with an outrigger monitor, which automatically detects the support status and includes the crane control system, it also comes equipped with the VarioBase® variable support base to enhance flexibility on site and increase the crane’s lifting capacity. The LRT 1090-2.1 features a 47 m telescopic boom, which consists of a two-stage hydraulic cylinder with a rope extension mechanism. This has been designed for high telescoping lifting capacities.

New innovations

Liebherr will present the world premiere of its brand-new Mining Technology Product portfolio at MINExpo. This will demonstrate the company’s interoperable and scalable approach to its equipment, technology and service product offerings, it said.

This portfolio, consisting of Liebherr’s Assistance Systems, Machine Automation and Digital Service products, will provide customers with “flexible scope of supply solutions to increase safety and asset operational effectiveness”, it said.

Together, these products will support operator’s performance, optimise diagnostic processes and automate machine functions, while integrating machine data and OEM expertise within the customer’s chosen technology landscapes, the company added.

Zero emissions

Liebherr says it strives for long-term sustainable solutions, investigating different options focused on safety, cost, reliability, maintainability and flexibility. Liebherr Mining already offers a range of solutions to help customers achieve low emissions, including a full range of electric excavators. It also plans to provide a full range of trolley-capable mining trucks.

“Further to this, Liebherr Mining has a clear vision and roadmap to expand its current offering to achieve low fossil fuel solutions in 2022, along with fossil fuel free solutions for the majority of applications by 2030,” it said. “At MINExpo, strategic partnerships with energy and infrastructure providers will be announced, alongside the roadmap for Liebherr to provide these solutions to our customers.”

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.”