Moatize adds to Hitachi excavator fleet

first_imgThe fleet of Hitachi mining excavators at Vale’s Moatize coal mine in Tete, Mozambique has been expanded with the recent delivery of two EX8000-6s. The EX8000-6 is the largest excavator made by Hitachi and these are the first of these models being operated outside North America and Australasia.The Tete province holds one of the world’s largest untapped carbon reserves, particularly for coking coal. Vale obtained a concession in 2006 to build and operate the mine at Moatize, with operations and then production starting in 2008 and 2011 respectively.Vale has announced plans to invest $15-20 billion in Africa between 2010 and 2015, including a $6 billion expansion of Moatize to double output to 22 Mt/y. The Moatize coal reserve is 954 Mt and its life expectancy is 35 years. Vale has invested heavily in its mining equipment, which includes the two EX8000-6s (with 43 m3 coal buckets) and three EX5500-6s (34 m3) working with Caterpillar 793 and 797 trucks. The mine also has a Caterpillar FS6090 hydraulic excavator and LeTourneau (Joy Global) L-850 and L-950 wheel loaders.The Hitachi machines are subjected to one of Africa’s harshest environments, where temperatures exceed 50°C, and they come with a bespoke after-sales support package to meet Vale’s requirements. “Vale knows the level of equipment required to start operations at the mine and have knowledge of the availability and support for other equipment that we are using around the world,” says Mário Carpegiane, Vale’s Maintenance Supervisor at Moatize. “Hitachi has a good reputation and is renowned for continuously developing its mining equipment.” After one year of production, the mine was very positive about the first two EX5500-6s. The availability and quality of service and support saw Vale opt to continue to operate Hitachi excavators at Moatize, so another EX5500-6 and the two EX8000-6s were ordered to assist with the expansion of production.“The high level of on-site support is an extremely important aspect of operating Hitachi excavators,” adds Carpegiane. “The conditions in Mozambique are so tough that the maintenance and service are crucial to our operation. Hitachi supplies the parts and service for the excavators. As Mozambique doesn’t have a good infrastructure or people with the required experience and expertise, this places even more emphasis on the relationship with the manufacturer. If we didn’t have a good system in place with Hitachi, then it would be very difficult to maintain our production levels. The availability of both models has been excellent as a result of this support. The interface with the Hitachi team is second to none and we enjoy a good level of communication. Also, if you compare Hitachi models with other excavators, the design and layout are good, which is especially useful for replacing parts and general maintenance.”last_img

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