Another monster joins the ranks

The new monster will join its comrade at the mine near Leinster, some 720km northeast of Perth. It will be configured as a face shovel and equipped with a 43 square metre bucket to make it capable of loading a 240t Caterpillar 793C haul truck in just three passes.The flagship of the Hitachi excavator fleet, the giant digger is powered by twin Cummins QSK60 Tier II, United States emission-compliant diesels, each developing 1450kW at 1800rpm. The big digger is constructed around a rigid box design to resist bending and twisting. It also utilises the advanced swing system pioneered by Hitachi on its 300t EX3600 excavators.The Hitachi-developed Electronic Total Control System (ETS) fitted to the EX8000, operates through an electric engine-speed sensing control system to manage the machine’s 16 variable-displacement, axial piston main hydraulic pumps and get the power to where it’s needed.The ETS can also assist operational efficiency by reducing fuel consumption, while maximising productivity through the optimisation and control of engine-pump functions.This latest mega machine will be the sixth of its kind operating throughout the world.Hitachi Mining general manager Peter Ross said there has been much local and international interest in the performance of the existing EX8000 at Mt Keith.“Reports from the site indicate it is meeting and in some cases exceeding the operating requirements,” he said.“We are looking forward to the introduction of the second machine and its impact on productivity.”Mt Keith Operation general manager Adriano Espeschit said the new excavators would become an important element in the mine’s expansion program.Mt Keith is part of BHP Billiton’s massive Nickel West operation, which combines the ore from six operations to make Nickel West the third-largest nickel-in-concentrate producer in the world.

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