The Power Of Three
Hitachi, Bell and John Deere drive performance at Watpacs Mineral Sands Mine
Hitachi construction machinery Australia (HCA) is at the forefront of Western Australia’s expanding mining industry. To gain insight into mining activities in the region, we travelled to Watpac’s Tutunup South Mineral Sands Mine to investigate the role Hitachi is playing in its mining projects.
Watpac is one of Australia’s leading contracting and property development companies specialising in construction, civil and mining, and property. It has a diversified portfolio of long-term mining services contracts across a range of commodities including iron ore, gold, mineral sands and coal.
Expansion of large-scale mining operations and continued production growth has seen the demand for Watpac to invest in quality machinery and plant equipment. HCA understands the competitiveness of this market segment and successfully supports Watpac’s vision of a streamlined maintenance service team specialised in quality equipment.
According to Brendan Vaughan, Mining Manager for Watpac Civil & Mining, “Watpac’s decision to purchase Hitachi machinery was based on their reputation for reliability, strong support service and cost effective maintenance. Hitachi products have proven to be an excellent investment and have provided us with excellent operating and maintenance performance. The strong product support services provided by Hitachi have enabled us to minimise downtime and maximise productivity. This business decision has helped us exceed our targets and maximise mining efficiency.”
Hitachi excavators are playing a key role in facilitating Watpac’s mining activities across a number of Western Australian sites. In addition to the Tutunup South Mineral Sands Mine established by IIuka Resources, another notable site is Ramelius Resources’ Mount Magnet Gold Mine. A fleet of Hitachi heavyweights are driving performance at these respective mine sites through dedicated loading and haulage operations to ensure Watpac’s strategies and project requirements are achieved.
“The ergonomic design of the Hitachi excavators has proved a favourite for the Watpac maintenance service team with enhanced efficiency during the servicing process,” said Vaughan. “Watpac’s strategy for our excavator fleet is to aggressively work them predominately as production machines before reassigning them to support roles. Hitachi provides us with excellent backup and product support through its reliable parts network, which helps us limit downtime and reduce warehousing costs,” added Vaughan.
The Hitachi fleet comprises several EX1200-6 and EX1900-6 hydraulic excavators, as well as an extensive range of excavator models from a ZX250H-3 and ZX350H-3 through to a ZX670LCH-3 and ZX870H-3 machines. A powerful line-up of Bell and Hitachi Articulated Dump Trucks (ADTs), a John Deere 872GP motor grader and a 315SJ backhoe loader also make up HCA supplied fleet at Watpac. “Hitachi is an all-round winner with our operators and maintenance personnel,” commented Vaughan. “Comfortable cab environment and excellent visibility have really impressed operators.”
The partnership between HCA and Watpac Civil and Mining continues to strengthen. HCA understands the competitive and challenging nature of the mining industry and requirements that drive the performance of a leading mining services company. “Hitachi has supported us when we really needed it with quick and efficient service and have always maintained excellent rapport with our plant department and our maintenance team,” explained Vaughan.