Pink bucket Komatsu loader and Axis Mineral Services raise funds for breast cancer support

In late February, Kalgoorlie-based crushing and milling specialist Axis Mineral Services took delivery of a Komatsu WA500-7 wheel loader, fitted with a specially made pink bucket to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer, which has affected a family member of one of the company’s directors and owners.

Seven years ago, Kylie Birkin, sister-in-law of Axis Minerals’ director Mark Thompson and sister of Site Administrator Leanne Thompson, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 43. Her treatment included a double mastectomy.


Kylie is now in her fifth year of remission, and to celebrate this – and raise funds for breast cancer research – Leanne and Mark decided they’d like to dedicate the company’s fifth Komatsu WA500 to Kylie.

Komatsu and bucket manufacturer Contatore Engineering were only too happy to support this, with each donating $5000 – matched by Axis Minerals – to Breast Cancer Care Western Australia. Additional in-kind support was provided by local signwriting company Sign-Here signs.

Leanne Thompson said that with Kylie celebrating her fifth year of being in remission, and the company’s fifth WA500-7 being delivered, it was an opportunity to do something different, and to support others with breast cancer.


“We were delighted that Komatsu and Contatore threw their support behind our proposal, and we’ve all been able to work together to provide more funds to Breast Cancer Care WA,” she said.

The day it was delivered, the new loader went straight out to Axis Minerals customer Golden Mile Milling, where it’s feeding Axis Mineral Services’ onsite crusher, and then feeding the crushed material to the milling plant.

“It certainly turned some heads at the customer’s; it was the conversation of the morning when it rolled up,” said Leanne.

Axis Minerals was formed in October 2016 by Mark Thompson and fellow partners/directors Joel Alman, Steve Alman and Steve Sutton, to provide rock and ore crushing services for mining operations throughout the Eastern Goldfields.


Its pink bucket WA500-7 is the seventh Komatsu loader in the company’s fleet, with another on the way. Other Komatsu machines owned by Axis Minerals are a WA470-8, four other WA500-7s, a WA500-8 and a PC300LC-8MO.

“Axis Minerals has had a relationship with Komatsu since they started the company,” said Leanne. “And Mark’s had a long association with Lindsay Nelligan (Komatsu Business Development Manager in Perth) for some years before that.”