Aug 13, 2019

Bluff mine to pioneer Cat drill in Queensland

Bluff mine to pioneer Cat drill in Queensland Ethan McCallum secures onboard equipment for the CAT MD6250. Photo courtesy The Morning Bulletin.

Queensland’s first Cat MD6250 rotary blasthole drill is off to work at the Bluff coal mine after an eight-week assembly project at Hastings Deering’s Rockhampton depot.

Delivery to contractor MACA at the mine, 20km east of Blackwater, will cap off a major logistical exercise that started with a journey from Caterpillar’s Denison factory in Texas USA, in May.

The MD6250 was shipped in components to Brisbane before three trucks hauled those parts 640km to Rockhampton.

With a price tag in the millions, the MD6250 is designed to chew through hard rock 12m benches, creating an 11.2m deep hole and with a drill bit of 250mm.

Assembly of the drill involved a specially formed team of Hastings Deering’s diesel fitters, electricians and trades assistants.

Hastings Deering product manager for drills and large motor graders Adam Davis said the drill would be partially dismantled, the mast, some walkways and accessories removed in order to make the last part of the journey.

Mr Davis said the MD6250 had numerous features which brought substantial cost savings for owners including air volume control for optimum up-hole velocity, less engine load and lower fuel consumption, as well as Cat Product Link™ Elite to provide statistics on machine health, location and production to ensure it is operating as efficiently as possible.

He said MACA’s purchase of the MD6250 drill was in line with an industry trend towards using high-tech, mid-size drills suited to drilling holes smaller than the 270mm sizes.

“Once the larger coal seams begin to shrink in size and the work moves to higher-grade coal seams, smaller machines are used as they are better suited to such application,” he said.

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