2 BK SP MKT GlobalEyes Edition 17 November 2015_English - page 7

Bradken Evolution Crawler shoes and sprockets will be
fitted to the RHIZOE hydraulic excavators operating at
Meadowbank.
I
n the Kivalliq region of Nunavut (one of
the most isolated and sparsely inhabited
regions in the world), roughly 2,600 km
northwest of Toronto, Canada lies the
Meadowbank open-pit gold mine. Owned
and operated by Agnico Eagle the mine is 300
km west of Hudson Bay and 110 km north (by
road) of the nearest community, Baker Lake.
Mining conditions in this region are some of the
harshest in the world. During the winter months
average daily temperatures fall to between -28°C
and -32°C with wind chills in the vicinity of -50°C
a common occurrence.
Based on our reputation for providing good
quality, reliable products to mining customers in
the Arctic region with similar environmental
requirements, Bradken was given the opportunity
to supply undercarriage components to the
Meadowbank mine. In June 2015 the first order
was received for a full set of Evolution crawler
shoes and two sprockets to suit the RH120E
hydraulic excavators in operation on the site.
While securing this sale was a great win for
Bradken as we look to develop our presence in
the Canadian North, the logistics of delivering
the order to site presented a unique challenge.
Typically, customer orders come with a firm
delivery deadline. In this instance, the deadline
was a moving target dictated by Mother Nature.
From September to June each year the main
transportation route for bulk supplies and heavy
equipment into Nunavut freezes solid. The
Meadowbank mine relies on an on-site airstrip to
bring in food and other small goods, and to
transport employees who work on a FIFO basis.
The mine is dependent on the warmer months,
or ‘sealift season’, to transport heavy equipment
by barge across Hudson Bay to Baker Lake. An
all-weather road then links from Baker Lake to
the Meadowbank site.
Temperatures in the waters along the barge
route are measured in an effort to establish
when the ice will begin to form. The last barge
tends to set sail around the end of September
with the return trip taking over a month. With the
Bay freezing from north to south, the timing of
the last trip of the season is planned with the aim
of the barge not getting frozen in coming back.
If these extreme weather conditions were not
enough Luke Lawry, Mining Sales Manager -
North America for Bradken’s Mining & Transport
Division said that the delivery date restrictions
on this order were further exacerbated by an
unexpected equipment breakdown at Bradken’s
Xuzhou, China foundry partway through
production of the shoes.
“This meant that in order to meet the delivery
cut-off production of the remaining shoes had to
be expedited through our Runcorn foundry in
Australia,” Luke said.
“Runcorn completed the shoes in less than three
weeks and through considered logistics, they
arrived into Oakland port and had cleared
customs by 3 September. All that was left now
was to transport them by road across the North
American continent to Becancour port in
Quebec, a total of around 4,800 km (3,000
miles), in order to meet the barge.”
The last barge to Meadowbank for 2015 departed
on 11 September with the site’s order of Evolution
product on board. Bradken sales and technical
representatives will venture to the site later this
year to conduct wear monitoring to identify
further opportunities to assist the site with their
undercarriage needs.
The efforts of the team at Runcorn and our
logistics and customer service teams are to be
applauded in meeting the delivery date and
ensuring that our breakthrough first order for this
customer was secured.
Customer Story
GLOBALEYES / EDITION 17
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