R/€ = 15.24Change: 0.00
R/$ = 14.40Change: -0.01
Au 1056.70 $/ozChange: -1.18
Pt 828.50 $/ozChange: -7.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Apr 03, 2009

World's largest hydraulic excavator makes its mark on African soil

Engineering|Africa|Components|Design|Diesel|Environment|Mining|Modular|OPENCAST|Platinum|PROJECT|Technology|Training|transport|Trucks|Africa|Equipment|Maintenance|Power Generation|Power-generation|Service|Services|Infrastructure|Power|Diesel
Engineering|Africa|Components|Design|Diesel|Environment|Mining|Modular|OPENCAST|Platinum|PROJECT|Technology|Training|transport|Trucks|Africa|Equipment|Maintenance|Power Generation|Power-generation|Service|Services|Infrastructure|Power|
© Reuse this

Integrated leasing and capital equipment group Eqstra has marked a milestone in its relationship with the third-largest capital equipment manufacturer in the world, Terex, through the introduction of Terex's 1 000-t RH 400 hydraulic mining shovel into South Africa.

The Terex RH 400 is the world's largest hydraulic excavator, capable of loading ore into dump trucks at a rate of about 10 000 t/h. With one scoop, 90 t of ore can be deposited at a time, filling one 300-t dump truck in only three passes.

Only ten other RH 400s are currently in operation throughout the world, most of which work in some of the world's toughest environments, extracting oil sand from the frozen wastes in Canada.

This eleventh RH 400, which is destined for service at Anglo Platinum's Rustenburg platinum mines' Mogalakwena section, is the first RH 400 on the African continent.

It is also the only electrically-driven RH 400 in the world. The machine runs on dual South-African designed power units, each delivering 1 800 kW. The modular design of the power-units is a well-tested technology already employed by the RH 400's smaller sibling, the 580-t RH 340, 12 of which are currently in operation at the platinum mine.

Terex Africa director Frank Reid says that the decision to obtain an electrically-driven RH 400 was in line with Anglo Platinum's request. The huge platinum mine at the Mogolakwane section has it's own power-generating infrastructure and most of its equipment is already electrically-powered. Linking the machine up to already existing infrastructure would require no extra capital expenditure. It would lower the operating costs of the machine as opposed to the machine running on diesel.

The decision was also an environment-conscious one, as the mine is cutting back on diesel powered machinery to lower its carbon footprint and avert some of the high costs associated with liquid fuels.

The decision by Anglo Platinum to acquire the RH 400 hydraulic shovel, rather than a competitively efficient rope-shovel, was also influenced by the fact that the mine already operates 63 pieces of Terex equipment and as such, can rely on a well established relationship with the equipment provider and its associated services, such as maintenance and training.

Mogalakwane Section engineering manager Bertus Schoeman says that it was logical to purchase the RH 400 as substantial infrastructure is already in place at the mine, such as repair shops and power-generation infrastructure.

The mine has the single largest concentration of Terex equipment in the world. It is the only operation in the world that now contains Terex's smallest 105-t excavator, and the largest, the RH 400, on the same premises.

Mogalakwena section production manager Hendrik van Niekerk says that the RH 400's capacity makes it extremely cost effective, which was the primary motivation behind the purchase.

The Mogalakwena section is known as the single largest opencast platinum mine in the world, and, following dropping platinum prices and the need to reduce cost per ton of ore produced so as to remain profitable, the decision was made to purchase an RH 400.


A skilled Australian operator and specialist, Stephen Maloney, was brought into the country to upskill eight RH 340 operators to operate the RH 400. Only one operator is required at a time, however the skill level required is high as the controls are sensitive.

"The bucket can be controlled by a touch of the fingers. It can be manoeuvred within inches through highly sensitive and responsive controls. It is very sensitive for something so large, and the operators need to be very experienced," says Terex CEO Ron DeFeo.

A staff compliment of 14 personnel has also been put in place to manage, maintain and monitor the machine.

The working eye-level height for the operator is at 8,8 m.


The arrival, transportation and assembly of the shovel required coordinated teamwork.

The machine was built in Terex's factory in Dortmund, Germany, and arrived in Durban on January 10, 2009. The first stage of the operation was to unload the giant shovel, which was shipped in component form, and transport it to the North West province for on site assembly.

The machine arrived in 75 components, the largest of which weighed 85 t. These were transported overland using 25 large heavy-duty trucks.

"It took six days to unload the RH 400 and transport it, with the final consignment arriving at the mine in the early hours of the morning," says Terex Africa project manager Eben Pietersen.

A team of 15 Terex Africa employees assembled the shovel, with the assistance of technical staff from Germany, who will also be involved in maintenance training.

More in future?

The RH 400, which carries a price tag of about R130-million, including shipping and transport associated costs, is a big capital investment for any mine.

"Africa presents a tremendous opportunity for either the RH 400 or the RH 340," says DeFeo. "If commodity prices return to where they were before, to a level that better reflects the economic growth throughout the world, then we'll see more sales."

Eqstra's CEO Walter Hill says that the RH 400 has a good track record around the world, and that the RH 340 has already proven itself on African soil.

"There is a keen interest from a number of mines, which will be monitoring the success of the RH 400 closely. We believe the machine will be a success and that we'll sell another few in the next few years. There are a number of customers that we are already talking to at this point," concludes Hill.

To watch a video clip of Terex CEO Ron DeFeo and Eqstra CEO Walter Hill discussing the first RH 400 in Africa click here.

Edited by: Laura Tyrer
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Capital Equipment in Construction News
EFFICIENCY FOCUS The turbocharged, four-cylinder FPT Industrial S8000 engine of the 570T backhoe loader delivers up to 86 hp and ensures reduced fuel consumption
Construction and earthmoving equipment distributor CSE Equipment has supplied more than 80 machines to the local market, following the extension of the Case backhoe loader range through the local launch of the robust 570T series in mid-2014. CSE, which distributes...
MARKET FAVOURITE A popular and reliable unit is the H-Power RM 75 tamping rammer, comprising the Robin Subaru EH12 engine that extends operating life
Since it was appointed the exclusive Southern Africa distributor of light construction equipment Power’s tamping rammers, vibratory rollers, concrete mixers, light towers and air-cooled engines in September 2014, engine, pumps and power products distributor Goscor...
COMPACT DESIGN The Fiori DB X35 self- and front-loading mixer’s design enables more accurate volumetric loading and shortened loading times
Concrete equipment manufacturer and supplier Pan Mixers South Africa (PMSA) in January launched the new Fiori DB X35 self- and front-loading mixer to cater for emerging markets in Africa that require more cost-competitive and high-quality certified concrete on...
Latest News
Updated 12 minutes ago Creamer Media’s second edition of its African Mining Projects in Progress 2015 report tracks project developments taking place across various mining sectors on the continent, including coal, copper, gold, iron-ore, platinum and uranium.
French conglomerate Bollore may have to halt work on the Niger to Benin section of its giant West Africa rail project after a rival company won a court order to stop it going ahead. The dispute concerns rival rail schemes in the area.
A week ahead of the second annual gathering of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (Focac), in Johannesburg, the JSE is rolling out the proverbial red carpet for Chinese investors looking to Africa’s largest bourse for possible investment opportunities, calling...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
NICK CHRISTODOULOU As about 58% of data stored by organisations is dark, they must identify this dark data to expose risks and valuable information
About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
BRIAN VERWEY Effective management, review and administration of non-core elements can improve business operations and increase revenue and decrease unforeseen risks
Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96