Queensland's Tarong Energy mine has recently taken delivery of five Komatsu 830E 220 tonne dump trucks, based on the performance and reliability of eight Komatsu 630Es which have been on site since 1997, with some of them logging up to 75,000 hours.
The mine, supplies 5.2 million to 5.4 million tonnes of coal annually to the Tarong Power Station, 180 km north-west of Brisbane.The trucks are owned by Tarong Energy, but are operated and maintained by Thiess Contractors, which has the contract to extract the coal from the mine. They are loaded by 360 tonne and 520 tonne hydraulic excavators, shifting both coal and overburden with the new 830Es primarily hauling overburden, working around the clock, 24 hours a day, 363 days a year.
"We've had a very successful run with the Komatsu 630Es with high reliability and very low maintenance requirements for this type of mine so when we needed to upgrade our fleet, we chose Komatsu again," said Jim Young, Tarong Energy's asset manager for mining.
"Komatsu had all the bodies of the 830Es built in Kingaroy, providing up to 15 jobs to the local community injecting almost $2 million to Kingaroy - which is a small rural town in South Queensland.The new trucks were delivered over about a six-week from the middle of 2010.
"Since they went into operation, we've had very good performance," said Jim.
"When they first arrived, they went to work after the initial commissioning period and they have been working ever since.
"We had a few minor teething problems, but only very minor, and they have been fixed pretty well straight away by Komatsu."
Jim said that when the trucks were delivered Komatsu Australia and Tarong Energy had a major hand-over ceremony to mark the occasion.
"We thought that this was such a significant event, that Komatsu brought V8 Supercar drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup along to visit the site, the local community, and local schools.
"They were here spread the safety message to everyone and let our workers see the V8 Supercars on site," he said.
The eight Komatsu 630Es, which have been on site since 1996-97, are about to undergo a major refurbishment, which will see some of them out to at least 100,000 hours, said Jim.
"Once we give them an upgrade, we intend to keep them running for another 25,000 hours, which will make a total of 100,000 hours for the older trucks," he said.
"Over the past 14 years, we've put them through the recommended rebuilds to keep them updated and that's why we continually have a good run with them, because we keep them well maintained."
The history of Tarong Coal Mine goes back to the early 1980s, when it was established by Rio Tinto, starting production in 1983; in 2008, Tarong Energy bought the mine and has since run it with Thiess as the principal contractor.
"We thought that this was such a significant event, that Komatsu brought V8 Supercar drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup along to visit the site, the local community, and local schools."They were here spread the safety message to everyone and let our workers see the V8 Supercars on site," he said.