NRW equips Karara magnetite mining fleet with two new Cat 6060 shovels
NRW Civil & Mining has recently invested in two new Cat 6060 hydraulic mining shovels to meet some unique challenges at Karara Mining’s magnetite project in Western Australia’s Midwest region, engaging Cat dealer WesTrac in the process.
Karara is the largest mining operation and the first major magnetite mine in the Midwest region, producing a premium, high-grade concentrate product which is exported from Geraldton port.
Unlike the more commonly mined hematite, magnetite is a hard and highly abrasive ore, which meant NRW needed machines that could cope with the rigours of operating in such harsh conditions.
NRW opted for the Cat 6060 Hydraulic Mining Shovel, a 600-t unit able to load 218 t trucks and above.
According to NRW Mining Operations Manager, Adam Harper, the buying decisions for a mining contractor are very much driven by client expectations.
“We’re obviously chasing safe machines, but they have to be able to perform to our clients’ expectations and do so efficiently,” Harper said.
According to WesTrac Product Manager, Greg Wear, the Cat 6060 is a premium Caterpillar® offering when it comes to hydraulic mining shovels and has traditionally been the shovel of choice for top tier miners.
“This is the machine that we promote for highly productive loading of 240 ton (218 t) trucks and up,” Wear said. “Tier One miners have had good success with that and, now with NRW onboard, it shows that mining contractors are also seeing the value of the Cat 6060.”
Wear explains that the 600-t models have a long history, having first been released to market under previous owner Terex as the RH340 in 2004. Since being acquired by Caterpillar, the machine has been progressively “Catified” through a series of phased improvements.
“Over the past 10 years, Caterpillar has made phased improvements,” he said. “Phase one was a lot of quick wins that could be applied to make the machine more reliable. Phase two looked at structural changes designed to provide stronger, heavier frames and more reliability. Phase three continued that with modifications around sticks and booms, and a completely new superstructure and larger slew ring.
“Today with all the next generation technology, the transformation is complete with all Cat electronics and parts, and there’s been a new cab installed. Now the 6060 has the complete Caterpillar feel and functionality.”
Read more: NRW equips Karara magnetite mining fleet with two new Cat 6060 shovels