06/01/2017 Replacement of used excavator attachment extends reach of Liebherr machine and optimizes mining operation in Brazil

  • Solution extended the machine's excavation reach
  • More stability and safety
  • Excellent cost-benefit to the customer

Liebherr excavator of the 70-ton class, the R 964 C, had boom and stick replaced by a long reach attachment in a big mining company in the state of Minas Gerais (Brazil), to operate in the desorption of tailings canals.

New attachment allows the hydraulic excavator R 964 C to reach 12.65 meters in the cleaning canals processes.

New attachment allows the hydraulic excavator R 964 C to reach 12.65 meters in the cleaning canals processes.

Tailings ponds are common in mining and are part of the iron ore beneficiation process. The connection between the ore withdrawal site and the basin is made through canals, which need to be constantly cleaned due to frequent silting. Support excavators (or infra) - so-called because they do not work in the direct production process - for cleaning the canals, are subject to the risks that the instability of the terrain provides - a very humid and irregular place. For this reason, equipment operating in these conditions should be as far as possible from the canal banks and the use of a long-range implement proved to be the solution to increase operational safety.

The 1.65 cubic meters bucket with holes and the additional counterweight gives more stability and safety to the operations

The 1.65 cubic meters bucket with holes and the additional counterweight gives more stability and safety to the operations

At first the mining worked with smaller excavators, and they were outsourced (lease), in a two-shift regime. To make the activity less costly, Liebherr's technical staff was called in to evaluate the operation. Holding Brazil’s largest fleet of R 964 C, the mining company assigned one of these machines, which already had more than 10,000 operating hours, for testing: the original attachment was completely replaced by a new one, going from a digging depth of 7.30 meters deep to 12.65 meters with the new attachment. To improve the machine’s stability, a counterweight 3.5-ton heavier than the standard was added, and the bucket was replaced, from the original 4.0m³, for ore operation, to 1.65m³. The entire process was approved and accompanied by Liebherr engineers.

With the replacement and with a small investment, the mining started to operate its own fleet on a one-shift basis, maintaining operating results similar to the previous regime and still eliminating the need to lease machinery for handling by-products.

Adjustments and modifications to the machines - used or new - for special applications is one of the services that Liebherr offers its customers. Highly qualified professionals, in close cooperation with the engineering areas in Germany and France, can offer suitable solutions for each application, guaranteeing maximum productivity and durability of the excavators.