(July 2012) – A group of leading mining contractors in Chile’s copper and gold mines are reporting impressive results following trials of the Keech WearpactTM bucket edge system on a fleet of underground loaders being put to work.
The trials, which are being undertaken by five contractors across the country, are at varying stages, following the commencement of the first trial 12-months ago.
Wearpact is a patented ground engaging tool designed for both underground and open pit mining conditions and suitable for any mineral type. Heavy duty edges and corners perform under all loading conditions, keeping wear consistent across the edge.
“We made a business decision to enter the Chilean market because we saw a real opportunity to make a difference,” said Keech International Sales and Marketing Manager, Mark Adams.
“We appointed a business development manager two years ago and regular visits to Chile by myself to oversee trials and their implementation has proven invaluable in getting to know some of the leading contractors and talking to them about our Wearpact system.
“The first trial is 12-months in and at 2,000 hours with the Wearpact system showing no problems whatsoever. We may be able to get as much as four times the life out of the bucket thanks to the Wearpact system,” Mark said.
Prior to installing the Wearpact system, the loader buckets needed to be transported many kilometers to Santiago for repairs.
“These loaders are working underground up to 6 km from the surface, so prolonging the lifespan of the buckets significantly reduces the downtime associated with returning the buckets to the surface and transporting them for repairs,” Mark said.
“The second longest running trial is at 1,000 hours and again the system is proving extremely successful in reducing bucket wear with the contractor recently ordering a further two Wearpact systems for other underground loaders in the fleet.”
The other four trials are currently at various stages however even at this early stage, similar results are expected. “Good news travels fast in the mining industry with Keech Chile having purchase orders from contractors for another 10 Wearpact systems, which will be fitted to other loaders in the fleet over the coming months,” Mark said.
To date, Keech’s sales focus with Chilean mining contractors has been limited to the Wearpact system, however plans are underway to open a warehouse in the next six months which will stock both the Wearpact castings and a range of buckets.
“Once we’re up and running, we will be able to provide contractors with immediate access to parts as required, cutting down on the current shipping times for export from Australia.
By 2013, we expect to be working with an even greater number of mines in the country, making it an exciting time for contractors looking to make the most of the booming industry.”