Hitachi mining excavator sophisticated quarrying

Boral Peppertree Quarry is situated at Marulan South in the NSW Southern Tablelands and is the company’s largest hard rock quarry investment in Australia.

The new quarry will supply the Sydney Metropolitan area and greater NSW building and construction industries with up to 3.5 million tonnes of aggregate products per annum. It is home to over 80 million tonnes of proved resource and over 1.8 billion tonnes of inferred resource on land owned by Boral in the Peppertree area.

Peppertree is part of Boral’s Sydney Aggregates Project, which will address the anticipated depletion of raw material reserves at the 100 year old Penrith Lakes Scheme in Sydney, of which Boral is a major shareholder.

Boral’s innovative in-pit crushing system is developing a reputation as the future of the quarry industry. The implementation of the new Metso Lokotrack LT160 mobile crusher reflects the shift towards automation and demand for safer, more efficient and environmentally-conscious technology.

Automation of the crushing process eliminates the need for a large number of haul trucks and personnel moving between the blast site and fixed crushing plant, as is the case in traditional load and haul operations.

Boral’s new mobile crushing system delivers economic and environmental benefits by significantly reducing its mobile fleet and associated fuel consumption, safety risks and maintenance requirements.

Weighing in at 285 tonnes and measuring 12m high by 25m in length, the Lokotrack LT160 is the largest mobile crusher in the Southern Hemisphere.

Customised to meet Boral’s strict safety requirements, extensive research went into the selection and design process of Metso’s Lokotrack LT160 and patented Lokotrack mobile conveyor system.

The Lokotrack LT160 can crush 1,150 tonnes of rock per hour and needs to be relocated every few hours—a process which can be done in minutes by an operator via a remote console worn around the operator’s waist.

In order to optimise its quarrying process, Boral turned to Hitachi for an efficient and reliable solution. A Hitachi EX1200-6 excavator, renowned for large-scale productivity in quarry applications, is based on the muck pile and loads material directly into the crusher’s hopper.

Process parameters of the Lokotrack LT160, such as hydraulic pressure, temperature and feed rate, are sent wirelessly to a human-machine interface panel located in the excavator’s cabin.

Cameras positioned on the LT160 allow the operator to observe what is happening within the feed process on the Lokotrack. If necessary, the operator can alter the feed rate via the human-machine interface panel in the cabin.

The EX1200-6 boasts a new hydraulic system and advanced hydraulic technologies that aim to boost production capabilities and lower fuel consumption. Performance has been improved including mobility, digging force, swing performance, boom lifting force, operator comfort and visibility.

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