Mining is a primary industry and key economic contributor to Australia, which has mining activity in all states and territories. This activity is supported by thousands of pieces of mobile mining equipment, from the drills that start the mining process to the trucks that haul ore to the crusher.
Relatively new to the Australian mining market are rotary blasthole drills built by Caterpillar. In the last several years, these drills have begun to make a significant impact in some of the country’s most prominent mining regions, like the Hunter Valley in New South Wales and the Bowen Basin in Queensland.
The Cat® MD6420B, for example, delivered record-breaking results in its first year on the job at a coal operation in the Hunter Valley, with engine hours well above the industry’s “good” and “excellent” ratings. With an industry average of around 5,000 hours per year, two MD6420B’s on site topped that number by about 2,000 hours. Supported by Cat dealer Westrac, the drill also delivered well above the industry average on the maintenance side, giving mines the availability they need to keep production high.
“What this means is the MD6420B is a low-maintenance drill,” said Caterpillar’s Andrew Elbourn, a product support representative for the drills product line. “The performance of these drills has been incredible. It just keeps on drilling.”
As Hastings Deering introduces the model into its territory in Queensland, the Cat dealer is finding similar results.