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Underground grunt for miner

Monday, 2nd December, 2019

The crew at Cavpower Broken Hill with two R2900G Underground Mining LHD Loaders. PICTURE: Myles Burt The crew at Cavpower Broken Hill with two R2900G Underground Mining LHD Loaders. PICTURE: Myles Burt

By Myles Burt

Cavpower Broken Hill celebrated the construction of two underground mining loaders with a good old sausage sizzle.

The two loaders will soon be driven off to their new home at Perilya’s mining operations.

About 43 staff - 32 on the ground, consisting of boilermakers, mechanics and apprentices - dedicated 800 working hours to the loaders over the past four weeks.

“Today was also about recognising the hard work from the guys,” said Branch manager Chris Collins.

“You know a lot of them put in a lot of work and as you can see from the loaders they’ve put in a lot of effort and pride.”

The Caterpillar-designed loaders are fitted by the local Cavpower team to feature certain specifications for Perilya’s underground operations.

Features include extra wear bars and bumpers to increase the lifespan of the machines.

Even with a close relationship between Cavpower and Perilya, Cavpower Mining manager Mark Luke said it’s a relationship they don’t take for granted.

“We’ve got to work hard and earn that right with Perilya,” Mr Luke said.

This won’t be the last Cavpower workers will see of the loaders, as Caterpillar dealer Paul Bitter said the mining loaders are designed to be rebuilt and maintained.

Even while the contract for brand new loaders comes every 18 months, a bulk of the work by Cavpower workers is through after-sale support and retrofitting machines with new technology.

“That’s a sustainability aspect of it as well,” Mr Bitter said.

“Why can’t you continue to rebuild something without wasting resources that are obviously finite.

“We’ve got machines that are plus 50,000 hours, that shows the design capability of what you can get out of this machine.”

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