Komatsu launches underground mining machines


Komatsu releases a suite of four underground loaders and support infrastructure for Australia's hard rock mining industry

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Komatsu WX07

It’s the first time Komatsu Australia has entered the hard rock market with a concerted hard rock mining solution, believed to be the most dedicated programme of its type in the local sector.

The two high technology hybrid drive underground loaders are uniquely equipped with durable independent electric motors in each wheel and headline a substantial investment by Komatsu to provide a complete service solution to miners and contractors, the company says.

"Providing hard rock miners with reliable underground loaders is part of a broader understanding of the need to assist their overall productivity in the face of global competition," says Joshua Foale, product manager mining, Komatsu Australia.

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Additionally, Komatsu has entered the hard rock mining sector with what they say are two large-capacity, technology-leading hybrid-electric loaders and two conventionally powered smaller machines designed for narrow vein operation.

Komatsu’s analysis shows the conventionally powered Komatsu WX07, seven-tonne loader is 14% more productive than any other machine in its category. The WX04, four-tonne version offers 20% more breakout force in its class, based on published information.

The hybrid Komatsu WX22H and WX18H load haul dump (LHD) loaders each claim the lowest total operating costs in their class. The manufacturer says both machines achieve up to 20% increase in tonnes moved compared to conventionally powered loaders, with up to 20% decrease in fuel costs, based on operating trials.

An independent life cycle analysis identified a 30% reduction in operating costs. Improved work cycle performance is achieved by use of high-efficiency electric traction motors in each wheel, making conventional mechanical power drive redundant, resulting in substantial reductions in operating costs.  

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