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Mineral Resources (MinRes) expects to benefit from faster haulage times after ordering 10 Komatsu HD1500-8 dump trucks for the Iron Valley mine site in Western Australia.

MinRes commissioned the first Komatsu HD1500-8 in late 2020, with the remaining nine to be delivered in the first quarter of 2021.

The company reported that the HD1500-8 could complete a haul journey from Iron Valley’s pit floor to the crushing facility and return in 21.63 minutes, compared with 23.84 from the older machines used.

“Following the success of the HD1500-8, (MinRes) placed a milestone order for 10 of our machines,” Komatsu sales person Jason Lambert said.

The HD1500-8 is also capable of climbing the 160-metre-deep pit at Iron Valley at 13 kilometres per hour, while achieving 60 kilometres per hour on the flat road and a 22-kilometre-per-hour descent.

“The operator can alter the fuel use according to gradient and also the load for the return trip to the floor,” Lambert said.

The trucks have achieved two fuel shifts of operation between fuelling at Iron Valley.

“It’s as if the HD1500-8 has been purpose built for the mine and in many respects, that is the case,” Lambert said.

According to Lambert, MinRes also considered the cost-effectiveness of the machine.

“From a miner’s perspective, cost is a major determinant – capital cost, life cycle cost and productivity,” Lambert said.

“In this instance, there was a consistent theme of 10 per cent improvement – in purchase cost, payload and operating efficiency – an additional 10 tonnes, 10 per cent faster and 10 per cent cheaper.

“But increasingly, there’s also the consideration of health and safety.”

The HD1500-8 features a collision awareness system which includes eight on-board radars and six cameras to create a 360-degree view of the surrounding environment.

The health and safety benefits are also enhanced by truck’s intelligently-designed cabin that includes cooling systems, low vibration operations and noise attenuation at a peak 72 decibels.