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melbourne, australia

High speed haulage at Stawell

Keeping on
Trucking ore from a depth of one
kilometre beneath the surface can
be a slow and expensive process,
but it’s a thing of the past for the
Stawell Gold Mine in Australia,
where high speed haulage using
a fleet of the latest Atlas Copco
Mintruck MT5010 trucks plays a
major role in the operation. Getting
the ore out involves a long drive
up the sublevel ramps at 1:8 to the
400 m level, and then on an in-
cline of 1:10 to surface, a journey
of 8-9 km. The drivers report that
the MT5010 is the smoothest ride
in all their experience, and the
management is obtaining their
lowest-ever cost/t. The MT5010 is
providing a very good return on

Long history
Stawell Gold Mine, located about 250
km west of Melbourne, was first mined
in 1853. It was closed in 1926, and stayed
dormant for more than 50 years. It then
re-opened in 1982, and has been in
operation ever since.
From 1992 until 2005, Stawell was
owned by MPI Mines, who instituted a Visual inspection of a Minetruck MT5010 with full load near Stawell portal.
plan to increase gold production from
100,000 oz/yr to 130,000 oz/yr by Faster is better This is because the MT5010 has the
end-2006. However, the mine recently greatest power-to-weight ratio of any
changed hands, and is now operated by Stawell is a very deep mine with in- truck in its class, giving it the highest
Leviathan Resources, who have adopted cline access. Inevitably, the adit is the possible travel speeds per tonne.
the same objective. To meet these tar- bottleneck in the production operation, Based on the success of the site’s
gets, bench stoping with cemented rock because it limits the size of truck that first MT5010, commissioned in 2003,
fill pillars in primary stopes is used. can be employed hauling ore to surface. the mine subsequently ordered another
With this mining method, approxi- However, within the normal under- three, with the latest arriving on site in
mately 80% of the ore is recovered from ground speed constraints, the faster the early January, 2005. Together, the new
the stopes. Remote-controlled loaders trucks, and the cleaner they run, the fleet has helped Stawell to its medium
shift the ore out of the stopes, from where greater will be the amount of ore that term objectives while reducing the mi-
a fleet of four Atlas Copco Minetruck gets to surface. ning cost/tonne to the lowest it has ever
MT5010 trucks is employed hauling At Stawell, getting the ore to surface been.
it to the surface along a gravel roadbed involves an 8-9 km drive, which, even
maintained by two graders in continu- with the MT5010, involves a round trip Comfortable power
ous operation. Stawell management is of 100 minutes. On the 1:8 gradient, its
convinced that the MT5010 is the best speed under full 50 t load is 12 km/h, The Atlas Copco Minetruck MT5010 is
truck on the market in terms of load some 2-3 km/h faster than the next fast- currently offered with the Cummins
capacity and performance. est truck on the current market. QSK-19-C650 engine as standard. This

underground mining methods 105

melbourne, australia

Stawell Gold Mines
Longitudinal Projection December 2004
0 SCALE 500m






Getting the ore out at Stawell involves an incline of 1:8 to the 400 m level and then 1:10 to surface.

water-cooled diesel provides an MSHA configuration. It is designed for maxi- 30% longer life after the engine’s first
power rating of 485 kW (650 hp) at 2,100 mum utilization with minimum main- rebuild. Oil seals have been engineered
rpm, has a displacement of 19 litres tenance. The articulated pistons are so they are never exposed to contami-
(1,159 cu in) and a six-cylinder, in-line made to last 30% longer, and also give nants.
The MT5010 is equipped with an
One of the four MT5010 mine trucks at Stawell Mine with manager Bill Colvin and driver Bruce Mclean. air-conditioned ROPS/FOPS- appro-
ved cabin with forward-facing seat and
back-up video monitor, and has an active
hydraulic suspension system for im-
proved operator comfort and handling.
Indeed, Stawell operators report that
the MT5010 suspension is the most com-
fortable in their experience and pro-
vides a much softer, smoother ride. They
observe that, when working 12-hour
shifts, this makes a huge difference. The
cab is also set up for efficient operation,
with good driver visibility, clear instru-
ments, and all controls easy to reach.
One of the most noticeable and impres-
sive features of the MT 5010 truck is its
power. The Cummins engine delivers
torque of more than 3,000 Nm through
the six-speed automatic transmission.
From a standing start under load it pulls
extremely well, whereas vehicles from
the previous fleet struggled. It also has

106 underground mining methods

melbourne, australia

The Minetruck MT5010 exits from the Stawell portal after a 9 km uphill drive.

a tight turning circle, saving on backing Continuous support A technical training course on the
out trucks in the limited space under- MT5010 was conducted at the mine by
ground, and is a lot less tedious to The routine performed by the mine’s Atlas Copco to further enhance the ex-
drive, being much faster than the old maintenance team includes checking pertise of the maintenance staff. Many
machines. main functions after each 12-hour shift, of the participants reported back that
The engine on the MT5010 is elec- as well as more thorough services at 125 it was the best on-site training they had
tronically controlled for maximum fuel hours, and the recommended intervals ever received from any equipment sup-
efficiency, minimum exhaust emissions at 250 hours. plier, observing that Atlas Copco under-
and continuous diagnostic monitoring. The MT5010 trucks, despite their stands that aftermarket service and sup-
This control system, along with an elec- arduous working situation, are acknow- port is an important complement to any
tronic transverter, provides smooth and ledged by Stawell management as being sale.
precise gear changes. the best performing trucks on site, with Future plans at Stawell include fur-
In addition to the selection of Cum- the highest t/km and excellent availabil- ther exploration and deeper development
mins as the engine supplier, Atlas Copco ity. As a result, the MT5010 trucks now work. In the next four to five years it is
has put the MT5010 through a series of constitute 70% of the hauling fleet. planned to increase the mining depth to
more than 40 performance-enhancing Where problems have been experi- at least 1,300 m.
upgrades to the engine, powertrain, cab, enced, the mine knows it can rely on
suspension, structural body, and systems, support from Atlas Copco. Acknowledgements
which dramatically increase engine and If they need a part, or a question an-
component life. Servicing is fast and swered, Atlas Copco provides a true, Atlas Copco is grateful to the man-
simple, thanks to easy access to filters, 24-hour service, seven days a week, and agement and staff at Stawell mine for
test points, and other parts which re- treats every enquiry with the correct de- their assistance in the production of
quire regular maintenance. gree of urgency. this article.

underground mining methods 107

Experience and Knowledge

Working with Atlas Copco means working with world-leading

products and services. What’s more, the people you work with
are the best – with the ability to listen and to understand the
diverse needs of our customers. This approach requires experi-
ence and knowledge, presence, flexibility and involvement in
their processes. It means making customer relations and service
a priority.

Through interaction, innovation and a continuous drive to im-

prove the way we do things – we help our customers achieve

Committed to your superior productivity.

Atlas Copco Rock Drills AB

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