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World’s first Hitachi EX8000-6 backhoe excavator delivered to Meandu Mine

First ever Hitachi EX8000 excavator with backhoe configuration commissioned to energy company Stanwell Corporation’s Meandu Mine in southeast Queensland on September 17.

The mine was bought over by Stanwell from Rio Tinto Coal Australia in 2008 to secure a long-term fuel source for the Tarong and Tarong North power stations.

Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia (HCA) says the EX8000 is the company’s flagship excavator, weighing over 800 tonnes with a 45 cubic metre bucket capacity which is capable of moving 75 tonnes of dirt per bucket load.

28 semi-trailers transported parts from Brisbane to Meandu Mine. Three cranes assisted the assembly operation including a 220 tonne, a 100 tonne and a 80 tonne.

According to Stanwell Corporation CEO Richard Van Breda, the excavator is officially the largest in the fleet.

Meandu Mine Mining Operations Manager Andrew Walker adds the excavator will support the Tarong Power Stations in becoming more competitive in the national electricity market by reducing the cost of coal from Meandu Mine.

Stanwell Chairman Warwick Parer says he expects the excavator to run for approximately 5700 hours per year for the next three years, predominantly removing overburden.

HCA Managing Director David Harvey says the company has lived by the philosophy of ‘pioneering spirit’ in terms of innovation, technology and safety for the past 100 years and adds the EX8000-6 is no exception.

“The EX8000 was assembled in record time, and more importantly put together safely without incident by Stanwell, Downer EDI and our partners,” he says.

The excavator was also given an official name of Atlas – after the Greek Titan who carried the earth- retrieved from a naming competition held by Stanwell.

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