When Alkane’s Tomingley gold mine needed new machinery to better suit its underground operations, original equipment manufacturer Epiroc delivered.
When a mine site needs new equipment to facilitate a change in operations or an upgrade in equipment, delivery needs to be on schedule to reduce downtime and loss of production.
However, with the majority of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) based overseas, the recent international border closures have made importing equipment and machinery difficult.
Tomingley gold mine general manager of operations Jason Hughes said the site needed to upgrade its underground fleet, which included four underground trucks from Epiroc.
“Two were ejectors and two were tipping trucks, and like most people we wanted the trucks yesterday, if possible,” Hughes said.
“Epiroc, rather than building the entire truck over in Europe and shipping them over, were able to get the trucks sent over in kit form and assembled them at their facility in Tasmania.
“They were then able to freight the new trucks directly to site, which allowed us to receive them in a very reasonable time frame considering the circumstances that have been happening around the world.”
Epiroc New South Wales regional manager Alan Sharpe said the MT65 trucks had the right size, speed on grade and manoeuvrability to assist the Tomingley site with its operations.
“Manoeuvrability is a really key factor of the MT65 – its ability to move around in a five to five-and-a-half metre drive makes it a leader in those areas in the 60-plus tonne capacity truck,” he said.
Epiroc Australia and Asia-Pacific electrified solutions product and sales support lead Brett Kenley said the company loaded the chassis, tub, power frame and load frame onto flat beds which were shipped to Tasmania.
“We put the power frame and load frame into the workshop in Burnie, then we basically built the trucks from that,” Kenley said.
“We essentially had to put all the components into the truck by following a step-by-step procedure that the company works to over in Sweden.
“We were able to do the build in about five weeks – we normally take two to three weeks to do local modifications but in this case as we built it, we added the local modifications as well and were able to put the trucks together quite quickly.”
Considering the challenges that Epiroc faced in getting the equipment into Australia, Kenley said he is extremely proud of what the company was able to achieve.
Since supplying Tomingley with the trucks, Sharpe said Epiroc is now planning on shipping more equipment to Australia in kit form, including its loaders.
“We will be doing our full underground fleet assembly where required to match the current mining energies for new equipment in Australia,” he said.
“There is still plenty of equipment coming out of the factory, this is just to supplement getting the gear into the country earlier for our clients.
“When you are dealing with high-end minerals the miners want the equipment as soon as possible, so it is up to us at Epiroc to do what we can to fast-track delivery.
“It is still very early in the process of bringing in equipment like this, but the opportunities to further grow and enhance that side of the business – and support the factory in these high-demand times – is beneficial for both the company and the clients.”.