Sandvik Mining and Construction has been awarded a contract for the supply of 14 LH517 LHDs (load-haul-dumps) for the initial production phase of Newcrest Mining’s Cadia East mine near Orange in the Central West of New South Wales.

The Cadia East project involves the development of the massive Cadia East deposit, one of the world’s largest gold deposits, into Australia’s first panel cave. The mine will be the deepest panel cave in the world and Australia’s largest underground mine.

The Sandvik LH517s will be deployed in Cadia East’s initial production phase (Lift 1), and are being delivered between now and October 2012. They will be equipped for fully autonomous operation in conjunction with Sandvik’s underground mining AutoMine system, which is currently used at Newcrest’s nearby Ridgeway Deeps Project.

Sandvik Mining and Construction’s underground mining sales manager Tim Redmond says Sandvik has a strong relationship with Newcrest and is a long-standing LHD supplier. “Newcrest’s huge Cadia Valley Operation is now among the largest users of Sandvik LHDs globally.”

Service and support for the new loaders is being carried out both by Sandvik’s Orange service centre, plus an onsite product support team in the Cadia Valley.

The Cadia East ore body is one of the world's largest gold deposits, comprising a mineral resource of 2.347 billion tonnes containing 33.2 million ounces of gold and 6.59 million tonnes of copper, along with a current ore reserve of 18.7 million ounces of gold and 3.16 million tonnes of copper. It will underpin production from the Cadia Valley for at least the next 30 years.

The project is based on the construction of an underground mine adjacent to the Cadia Hill open pit mine and an expansion of the existing Cadia Valley processing plant annual capacity from 24 million to 26 million tonnes. Construction has commenced, with first production expected in the second half of 2012.

Released in late 2009, the Sandvik LH517 is a high capacity new generation underground LHD offering improved safety and higher productivity than previous models, through redesigned hydraulic and electronic systems. Powered by a Volvo TAD 1361VE engine rated at 285 kW, it has a tramming capacity of 17.2 tonnes and can handle bucket sizes from 6.5-8.6 cubic metres.

Features include a strengthened operator’s cabin with efficient air conditioning, fully adjustable seat and controls, and a single all-in-one digital display which interfaces with the on-board vehicle control and management (VCM) system. Servicing and maintenance is made easier and safer through ground level daily service points, three-point mounting and fall-protection systems. A built in fire suppression system significantly enhances mine and operator safety.

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