Batchfire fires up new PC4000

A brand-new PC4000 was recently delivered and constructed at Batchfire’s Callide Mine, built and tested in just one month ahead of its first start-up, and is now ready to get to work.

Komatsu worked alongside the Callide team to ensure a successful delivery of the PC4000, which was customised for the unique operational requirements of the Callide site and built to withstand harsh Queensland mining conditions.

“This excavator needed to be a tough, high-productivity machine while also offering the highest levels of fuel efficiency and operator safety. This meant various unique requirements, like an oversized 23 m3 rock bucket,” says Scott Harrington, Komatsu Regional Manager - Mining Equipment

“It was a big feat, but the collaboration between both parties meant a great outcome.”

Large Komatsu mining machine standing idly on mine site

Successful delivery making an immediate impact

Matthew Scales, Batchfire Resources Manager of Mining & Production, says that the process from start to finish was incident free, smooth and a testament to Komatsu’s expertise as a leading mine machinery manufacturer.

“What a lot of people don’t realise is mining equipment is so large, in this case 400 tonnes, that much of it has to be transported to site in pieces. The bucket alone on this PC4000 weighs upwards of 25.6 tonnes.”

The new excavator will be operating around the clock at the Callide Mine, put to work for more than 400 hours each month and expected to shift five million bcms (bank cubic metres) of waste each year.

Komatsu joined the Callide Mine team for the first run of the excavator, as it made its maiden voyage from their Boundary Hill East assembly area to the Boundary Hill South pit where it will spend most of its operating life.

Group of workers standing in front of Komatsu mining machine

A powerful and smart machine

Operators of the PC4000 at Callide were impressed by its power, with 1875hp available at 1800rpm from a 16-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine.

“The first thing our operators have noticed is that it has really good breakout power compared to other excavators around the same size,” Matthew says. “The cab has a user-friendly layout and visibility as well, which is proving to be a bit hit.”

This PC4000 is equipped with the latest Mineware Argus 3.0 smart payload monitoring system, Komvision camera and lidar safety system, Komtrax Plus remote monitoring data system, and advanced telemetry technology.

Alongside the innovative technology onboard the PC4000, it has also been fitted with various additional sensors to allow Batchfire to utilise the latest MaxMine smart monitoring solution already in use across the entire fleet of trucks and machinery at their Callide Mine.

Safe, and fuel efficient

The safety benefits of the PC4000 are extensive and include a 45-degree stairway design, three on-board cameras offering 360-degree birds-eye view, penetration-proof safety glass, powerful LED working and service lights and remote monitoring.

Alongside the safety benefits, fuel efficiency is also improved compared with older equipment still widely used by mines around the world. The PC4000 is expected to use 233 litres per hour, down more than 15 per cent on the machine it replaces.

The PC4000 joins a growing fleet of Komatsu mining machinery at Batchfire’s Callide Mine, consisting of 18 other units including loaders, dozers, dump trucks, and excavators – so far offering exceptional reliability and reduced fuel use.

In fact, more than 60 per cent of Batchfire’s pre strip haul truck fleet is now powered by diesel-electric-drive dump trucks, following a substantial investment in six new Komatsu 930E-5 dump trucks.

The electric-drive trucks offer significant CO2 emission reductions and increased productivity, while most importantly aligning with Batchfire’s commitment to ongoing sustainability.