#Caterpillar Inc.#Conveyor systems#Draglines#wheel dozers

From Hitachi Construction Machinery to Caterpillar Inc, See What Works Best

Mining for gold has changed dramatically since the early days of exploration. The process in todays standards consist of six phases (staking the claim; ...

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|May 15|magazine21 min read

Mining for gold has changed dramatically since the early days of exploration. The process in today’s standards consist of six phases (staking the claim; regional exploration, resource definition and feasibility study; assessment and approval; mine construction; operating the mine; and rehabilitation). However, the most exciting, and vital, part of gold mining is the operations.

The majority of gold today is found using two methods – open-cut mining and underground mining. Depending on which method is required, or where the gold is located, the equipment necessary can be quite large, complex, and extensive.

The two biggest and best machinery companies for gold mining are Caterpillar and Hitachi. While they both provide the necessary equipment for open-cut and underground mining, each company provides a little something different for the industry. 

Caterpillar Inc.

Caterpillar Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of mining equipment. Through its global organization, the American corporation provides a wide-range of mining equipment for surface and underground gold mining to the industry.

The company’s lineup for surface mining is comprised of: articulated trucks; conveyor systems; dozers; draglines; drills; electric rope shovels; highwall miner; hydraulic shovels; mining trucks; motor graders; off-highway trucks; wheel dozers; wheel loaders; and wheel tractor-scrapers. Underground equipment includes: conveyor systems; hard rock trucks; longwall; and room-and-pillar.

Conveyor systems

Caterpillar Conveyor Systems are built for an array of surface and underground mining applications, and are specifically designed for the unique geology and characteristics at each mine. Their purpose is to transfer ore over long distances at high capacities without disturbing environmental noise. The following criteria should be considered: profile, distance, material characteristics, tonnage, capacity required, and preferred speed.

Draglines

Draglines are a primary excavating tool in surface mining. Caterpillar’s innovative draglines can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are able to reach depths of nearly 300-feet. They provide the lowest material removal cost per ton and have an average operating life of 40 years. The company offers more than 45 dragline specifications that address specific gold mining needs.

Drills

Caterpillar offers two types of drills for gold mining – rotary blasthole drills and track drills. Each one serves a different purpose depending on the method of mining and the terrain. Rotary Blasthole Drills are proven to be more efficient with higher productivity levels and lower costs. Track drills provide most of the same features but with lower fuel usage. Both are field serviceable and Caterpillar provides the best customer service in the industry. 

Shovels

The machinery giant provides two types of shovels – electric rope shovels and hydraulic shovels. Each one is similar and different in a variety of ways. Electric rope shovels are used to load trucks with materials utilizing industry-leading visibility and the most efficient operating, loading, and hauling tools in the market. Hydraulic shovels provide high-volume productivity with faster cycle times with the ability to withstand any digging environment. The hydraulic feature increases uptime and low operating costs making it the premier shoveling tool for gold mining.

Trucks

Caterpillar has a variety of machines for moving, loading, clearing, and grading mining sites.

Dozers, graders and wheel dozers are implemented to move large volumes of material in short periods of time. Caterpillars’ dozer trucks perform several valuable functions in surface and underground mining. These include: truck dump maintenance, ripping, stockpile management, stripping overburden, dragline support, trapping, and road building.

The company’s line of articulated trucks, mining trucks, and off highway trucks help to transport materials such as rock and ore at mines around the world. These powerful, productive, and integrated machines use the latest technologies and their engines provide optimum horsepower. Caterpillar trucks specialize in improving fuel efficiency while lowering emissions and shortening service time.

Hitachi Inc.

The Japanese company is multinational engineering and electronics conglomerate company. Hitachi provides gold mining machinery across the globe. The company’s equipment is focused on haulers and shovels with an assortment of excavators available.

Trucks

Hitachi offers six different trucks. Each one presents unique qualities for gold mining purposes and depending on the method and terrain, Hitachi has the technology and size required for the job.

EH1100-3: Features include: hydraulic brakes, high-resistance to wear and impact, high maneuverability, and operator comfort. This reliable truck offers all types of advanced technology with low operating costs making it perfect for any job.

EH1100-5: Depending on the size of the mining area, this truck is perfect for economical operations. Features include: easy maintenance, efficient engine, access system, quicker refueling, upgraded transmission, and one of the strongest frames in the market.

EH1700-3: The smaller of the Hitachi trucks, this series provides easy-to-access components, high resistance to wear and impact, high maneuverability, and a convenient cab.

EH3500ACII: This truck is engineered for increased productivity. Features include: AC-drive systems, horizontal stiffener body, brake blending, auto retarding control, fast-fill system, load weighing system, and an easy-to-access ladder.

EH4000ACII: This Hitachi truck is made for large capacity hauling. Features include: AC-drive system, auto cruise/retarding control, slip/slide control, redesigned frame, bolt on high arch frame, superior suspension, hi-tech ROPS/FOPS cab, horizontal stiffener body, load weighing system, and a fast-fill system.

EH5000AC-3: The grand daddy of Hitachi’s hauling trucks. This hauler provides the size and technology for any gold mine in the world. Features include:  Advanced AC-drive system, slip/slide control, pitch control, skid slide control, easy access to major components, redesigned frame, monitoring system, tough body, hi-tech ROPS/FOPS cab, load weighing system, and a fast-fill system.

Excavators & Shovels

With six different excavators and shovels on its resume, Hitachi knows a thing or two about extracting materials in mining areas. This machinery is used to dig out materials and load it onto mining trucks for transportation. Depending on the model and series, one of these Hitachi excavators and shovels will get the job done right.

EX1200-6: This excavator and shovel is designed and engineered for flexibility with high efficiency. Features include: Boom mode, strengthened foundation, ergonomically designed cab, sturdy cab, LCD monitor, simplified maintenance, stronger and bigger bucket.

EX1900-6: This is the excavator Hitachi was built upon with its industry’s leading 180-ton shovel. Features include: Ergonomically designed cab, air-suspension seat, LCD monitor, simplified maintenance, and bucket design. It doesn’t get much better than this.

EX2600-6: Since 1996, this shovel has set the industry standard for performance. Features include: Ergonomically designed cab, folding stairs with wide steps, simplified maintenance, a powerful U.S. EPA Tier II engine and efficient hydraulics.

EX3600-6: This fine piece of machinery was built to be strong day in and day out. Features include: Ergonomically designed cab, folding stairs with wide steps, simplified maintenance, reliable engine and solid construction to ensure the frame box can withstand heavy-duty excavation work.

EX5600-6: The Hitachi EX5600-6 offers proven design with the most advanced technologies in the market. Features include: Ergonomically designed cab, folding stairs with wide steps, simplified maintenance, LCD monitor, and a reliable U.S. EPA Tier II engine.

EX8000-6: As the largest mining shovel in the industry, there is no job too big for this excavator. Features include: Efficient hydraulics, solid construction, flow-assist system, lower rollers, track links and drive tumblers, ergonomically designed cab, and cab utility space.

What works best

Just like any piece of equipment, it depends on what the job requires. Gold mining requires some of the largest and most durable equipment on the face of the planet. Both brands have been implemented by a variety of mining companies and not one can official be labeled better than the other. It simply comes down to the mining company’s preference and the job at hand.

While Caterpillar prides itself on offering a selection of machinery for each aspect of mining, Hitachi concentrates on innovative technology, convenience, and high productivity. Not one is better than the other but both have built a reputation on being the best in the industry.