BHP has signed a deal with Liebherr that will bring the OEM’s D9812 engines to the miner’s R 9600 excavator fleet at the South Flank iron ore mine in Western Australia.
The agreement, made official recently in Perth, will repower the six existing 600-tonne units in 2023 and 2024. The impetus, Liebherr said, was to reduce the customer’s maintenance and also standardise its parts capabilities.
The first D9812-repowered R 9600 is scheduled to be operational by early 1Q23.
The decision came after factory and field validations of the D98 engine series, including a two-year validation study at BHP’s Jimblebar mine where the Liebherr D9812 has powered an R 9400 for almost 20,000 hours.
BHP South Flank General Manager Steve Campbell said the new project is the culmination of a long-term relationship between the companies, and at a time when the 80-million-tonne-per-year South Flank is focused on ramping up production.
Added Mark Pickett, vice president, Minerals Australia Supply: “We welcome the introduction of Liebherr engines into our equipment to deliver a more sustainable outcome and lower overall cost, as well as allowing Liebherr to have better control of product improvement. We look forward to continued partnership with Liebherr on these initiatives that make BHP’s operations more productive and improve sustainability.”
Liebherr noted that the D98 series completes its existing Liebherr engine portfolio for mining equipment by expanding into the upper power range. Designed specifically for the mining industry, the D98 series engine offers low fuel consumption and consequent emission reductions.
The engine is also compatible for use with sustainably produced Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel which can significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
The new engines will be supported locally by Liebherr-Australia.
South Flank, located northwest of Newman in the Pilbara region, produced first ore in mid-2021. It has a mine life estimated to be more than 25 years and has an ultimate production ngoal of 145 million tonnes annually.