R 9400 helping restore native lands
In the northwest of New Mexico, a Liebherr R 9400 mining excavator with the nickname “Bherr Claw” has been crucial to mine reclamation operations at the Navajo surface mine located within the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American tribal nation – both in landmass and population – in the USA and its land spans three states: Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.
The Navajo mine is owned and operated by the Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC). NTEC acquired the Navajo mine from BHP Group in 2013. Officials of the Navajo Nation made this decision to protect jobs, maintain revenue, and support local economies for the Diné, also known as the Navajo people. When NTEC acquired the mine, it also inherited a significant amount of unreclaimed mining land; land that had not yet been restored for its original purpose after the mines had become exhausted. NTEC takes its reclamation responsibility incredibly seriously and has committed to reclaim well over 84 million m3 of material. Reclamation of this unreclaimed land began in 2017 and is expected to be completed by 2031.
A force to be reckoned with
Bherr Claw – NTEC’s R 9400 mining excavator – has been essential for reclamation efforts at the Navajo mine since the machine’s delivery in 2019. The 345.50 tonne excavator was the first piece of Liebherr equipment that NTEC owned outright. It is set up in a backhoe configuration and has been digging channels and doing regrade work in the mine pits. Bherr Claw is currently working in an area of the mine that NTEC has voluntarily committed to reclaim, to ensure the land is restored to its highest environmental status.