This is the first time in Europe Africa and the Middle East (EAME) that a mining project has chosen a total solution from the newly-extended Caterpillar mining range.
The deal includes four new Cat 6030 hydraulic excavators and 19 777 off highway trucks, delivered during 2012 to the new Hargreaves’ Surface Mining Division for use at the Tower Colliery open cast mine site in Hirwaun, Rhondda Cynon Taff, South Wales.
Following hot on the heels of the recent acquisition from Caterpillar of the former Bucyrus distribution business by Finning International, for £300 million (€360 million) in January 2012, the first of the four Cat 6030s has already been built up onsite in February 2012.
Having completed the ground-breaking deal with Finning, Hargreaves’ group commercial director, Kevin Dougan said: “The Tower Colliery opencast project represents a completely new model for the industry. Hargreaves Services and its joint venture partner Tower Colliery have worked in partnership with Finning Equipment Solutions to secure investment and over 200 new jobs for the area.
“Hargreaves Services will manage the extraction of 6 million tonnes of coal from the 615 acre site over the next seven years. We needed to work with a partner that had the equipment, skills, resources and financial stability to fully support the equipment fleet for the whole duration of the project. The securing of the rights to the former Bucyrus distribution business and the investment Finning was prepared to make in supporting us, were both critical in this decision.
“As a result of Finning’s responsiveness and support we are already in a position to commence the coal extraction programme and as more equipment is brought onto the site in the coming months, activity onsite will be ramped up. As part of the deal we have agreed a maintenance and service agreement with defined performance levels, which gives us the confidence on productivity and equipment availability.”
Representing the largest Caterpillar deal of its type, the Hargreaves contract was the first to benefit from the new extended range of Caterpillar mining equipment, underpinned by the parts, service and training support from Finning.
John Vardy, general manager mining at Finning explained: “Since we signed the deal with Caterpillar for the former Bucyrus distribution business in January, we have already significantly grown our mining strategic sales and operational team, to deliver the highest level of support and service to our mining customers across the UK and Ireland. This team works closely with our regional teams who together provide the very best day to day parts, service and operational support to our customers.
“We are now entering a very significant strategic relationship with Hargreaves, which we will be looking to develop further into the future.
“From a practical point of view, over the coming months Hargreaves will have a highly productive and efficient mining fleet. As this rolls out, we will be supporting the team on the ground with specialist operator training, maintenance planning and the new Finsight condition monitoring service, to deliver the lowest cost per tonne solution in the industry.”