UK surface mining firm Banks Mining has returned to KMG Warrington for a second frontline earthmover for their new Bradley surface mine near Consett in County Durham. Komatsu has supplied a used PC3000-6 excavator to the Bradley site which will eventually yield half a million tonnes of high quality coal over its three year lifespan that will be used for a variety of industrial markets in the UK.The choice to purchase the Komatsu follows the good service of a PC3000-6 face shovel already operating at Banks Mining’s nearby Shotton surface mine in Northumberland.
The 254 tonne excavator had been operating at the Hinkley Point nuclear power station before being moved to Banks Mining’s depot at Thrislington in County Durham where it was stored for a short period before being taken the 23 miles to the Bradley site to be rebuilt on site by a team of KMG engineers.
Using a pair of 200 tonne cranes, it was then rebuilt, fully tested and readied for work in under a week. As with the PC3000 face shovel working at Shotton, KMG have a permanent service engineer and a stock of consumable parts on site to ensure the excavator is kept working for the maximum time possible.
The excavator has been supplied with a 16m³ heavy duty rock bucket and will be used to excavate overburden from above the coal seams at the site, which include a number of uncharted workings from historic deep-mining activity.In line with The Banks Group’s ‘development with care’ approach and its focus on operating to very high environmental standards, the PC3000-6 uses a single V12 engine that delivers 1260hp, which is a similar power output to that of rival twin-engine machines while using less fuel and having significantly lower servicing costs.
The excavator had under 9,000 hours of operation when the Banks Group purchased it, but with the machine stripped into its component parts, the opportunity was taken to replace major bushes to the front end equipment.The new owners also opted for a comprehensive noise reduction package to be fitted to the excavator before it went to work. Comprising insulated enclosures for the radiator cooling fans, hydraulic oil coolers and hydraulic pumps, the enclosures feature movable slats to direct the noise emitting from the components to be directed toward the air or ground to minimise environmental noise emissions.
Prior to the PC3000-6 going to work, the KMG engineers undertook a full service as well as a planned maintenance clinic on the machine to ensure that it would be immediately able to operate to its full potential.Robbie Bentham, plant director at Banks Mining, says: “The Komatsu PC3000-6 front shovel based at Shotton has surpassed our expectations in terms of build quality, reliability with exceptional back-up support from KMG, and we are confident that the backhoe, which is ideal for tackling this type of ground, will deliver likewise at Bradley.
“We take our environmental responsibilities extremely seriously, and while the Komatsu is already a quiet machine by industry standards, the addition of the noise reduction equipment will help immensely.”The UK still requires coal to meet a range of essential industrial, household and electricity generation needs, and it is undoubtedly in the national interest to continue to invest in skilled mining jobs in North East England at locations such as Bradley and Shotton instead of increasing our already substantial reliance on coal imports from overseas.”