The mining industry in Canada has suffered in recent years in large part to a softening economy in the base mineral sectors. Currently, as a result of higher prices being paid for many of these base minerals, the industry has experienced a major recovery. Nowhere is this more evident than in British Columbia, Canada, where mining has once again resurfaced as one of the leading industries.
This resurgence in mining is very evident throughout the province. In the Kamloops, British Columbia region New Gold Inc., is re opening the large open-pit Afton Mine. To get this massive gold mining project up and running, New Gold contracted with Vancouver based Ledcor CMI Ltd., one of Canada's leading construction companies, for site preparation and road construction. The most demanding aspect of this job was the construction of an access road to a mining shaft portal almost at the bottom of the pit. With the project in hand, Ledcor CMI's general manager Randy Daggitt turned to Chris Cheney and Surrey, British Columbia based Great West Equipment to supply the heavy equipment necessary to get the job done.
Chris quickly assessed the job and went about locating a seventy-ton Volvo EC700B excavator and five thirty ton Volvo A35D articulated haulers. Once on site, this new iron soon became the pride of the project supervisor and the operators. "This is a twenty-four hour a day operation and time is money, so productive, comfortable, reliable equipment is one of the keys to our success," stressed project supervisor Wayne Helsel. Wayne went on to note, "the sheer strength of the 700 is great. This machine has the power to easily handle everything."
Big Machine. Bigger Performance.
The Volvo EC700B is a big machine with even bigger performance. The heart of this giant is the fuel-efficient 982 cubic inch (16.1 l), 464 horse power (346 kW) Volvo D16E engine that is perfectly synchronized to the Volvo designed and built, high capacity hydraulic system. Together, they give this 70- ton machine the capacity and ability not met by many 80-ton competitors. When the going is tough, which it is on every job site, superior digging, arm crowding and breakout force assures quicker cycle times and more tons loaded. Excavator operator Kelly Seymour has operated the Volvo EC700B from day one.
"I just like this machine. It's strong and easy to service, but most importantly has a fantastic cab and it's very stable. This is a pretty steep site and never once did I feel even a little bit uncomfortable. The cab is just awesome, there are so many adjustments and options available that it just makes the shift go by so easily." The switchback access road that the Ledcor team has been constructing is just under a mile long (1.35km) and has an elevation difference of over 450 feet (137m) "This machine has lots of power, more than you need, we are loading each truck in under a minute so are able to move a lot of material in a short period," Kelly explained.