Page 13 - GlobalEyes Edition 4 Aug 2011

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Papua New Guinea has always
been an important market for
Bradken’s GET and Crawler
Systems products.
The constantly wet conditions
turn the pit floor into a grinding
paste which is a challenging
environment for any
undercarriage component
or ground engaging tool.
PNG has a diverse and
remote mining industry and
as two of the more prominent
mines have evolved, so too
have their crawler shoes.
Lihir Gold operations are
located on Niolam Island, in
the New Ireland Province,
900km north east of Papua
New Guinea.
The island is located in the
“Pacific Rim of Fire Region”
with the mine being located in
the crater of an extinct volcano.
The island receives an average
annual rainfall of 4800mm.
The site currently operates
five Terex O&K RH200 face
shovels. The mine has been
using Bradken’s DRP crawler
shoes for some years, but has
recently taken possession of
a set of RH200 Evolution
crawler shoes.
The patented Bradken
Evolution design overcomes
many of the shortfalls that are
present in the OEM design.
The crawler shoes utilise a
“continuous roller path” design,
which reduces the contact
pressure between the load
roller and the crawler shoe and
eliminates much of the metal
flow that occurs with the
traditional design. This design
enhancement gives superior
track performance and
extends load roller life.
The other prominent operator
to begin using the Evolution
track is Curtain Brothers, which
contracts to the Ok Tedi mine.
Located on the Papua New
Guinea mainland, Ok Tedi
is located in the Western
Province just 18kms from the
Irian Jaya border. The mine is
serviced from the township
of Tabubil and is very remote.
Curtain Brothers was keen to
extend the performance of their
crawler shoes and minimise
the downtime they had
experienced with other
types of crawler shoes. The
remoteness of the Ok Tedi
site means that the supply
of replacement parts is not
only time consuming but
also expensive.
Bradken’s proven reliability
of design and manufacture
means both Lihir and Curtain
Brothers can now be satisfied
they can depend on the tracks
for superior performance.