Hitachi Sets Sail

Hitachi EX2500-6 onboard the Biquele Bay ready for its five day journey at sea.

Established in 1995, THE Mining (formerly Tony Harbrow Earthmoving), offers specialist earthmoving solutions to major mining, civil works and equipment hire customers. Located in the Northern Territory’s Pine Creek, the company initially started as a family operation, but has since evolved into a major player in Australia.

THE Mining’s diverse range of earthmoving solutions include mining contracting, crushing and screening, haul road construction and maintenance, environmental rehabilitation works, dam building and leach pad construction, to name a few. The company also specialises in wet and dry hire, and prides itself on customer satisfaction and the delivery of top-class results on every project. THE Mining has built up a client base of major resources companies involved in mining, civil works, equipment hire and rehabilitation, such as Rio Tinto, Anglo Gold and Inpex.

Hitachi excavators make up a large part of the company’s earthmoving fleet. They are currently running an EX350, EX450, EX1100, EX1800-3 and an EX3500. “Our large excavators are being utilised for mining applications and the smaller machines are proving ideal for quarry and civil works projects,” commented THE Mining’s General Manager, Richard Sippel. The recent purchase of a Hitachi EX2500-6 hydraulic excavator has proven a solid addition to THE Mining’s fleet—but it took an extraordinary operation to get it to site.

The excavator was assembled onsite at Tiwi Barge’s dockyard in Darwin and driven onto the cargo ship, Biquele Bay. Driving onto the cargo ship was no mean feat—it required perfect timing around the changing sea tide and extensive modification to the shore landing. Heavy trucks were recruited to transport hundreds of tonnes of dirt to build up a ramp to ensure the Biquele Bay’s 160 tonne bow door laid level upon the ground. Road base was also laid atop the ramp to withstand the weight of the 248 tonne Hitachi EX2500-6.

The loading operation at Tiwi Barge required hundreds of tonnes of dirt to build up the shore landing.

It then began its five day maiden voyage across two seas to Groote Eylandt.

After strict coordination between Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia (HCA), THE Mining and the shipping logistics company, the machine arrived at Groote Eylandt without incident and delivery was taken by Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO). The EX2500-6 is now being utilised by GEMCO in the next phase of its high-grade manganese ore mining project.

As far as performance and reliability are concerned, operators have been really pleased. “High availability, and excellent backup are crucial to the overall productivity of our customers,” said Richard. “I would have to say there are a number of advantages over other machines we have purchased. After sales service, cost of parts and the outstanding digging force in the larger excavators have really supported our choice in Hitachi,” he said.

A five day journey from Darwin to Groote Eylandt.

The combination between HCA’s workforce and its machines continues to prove an unmatched force for customers in the Australian mining and construction industries. “HCA focuses on building lasting relationships and believes in growth and innovation,” said Richard. “I believe it is at the forefront of technology and its people make the company what it is today.”

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