Two Hitachi EX5500-5 front shovels achieved elite status October 2013 at the Yanacocha gold mine in Peru by surpassing 100,000 operating hours.
Both EX5500-5 machines – the predecessor to Hitachi’s current EX5600-6 model – were delivered 14 years ago and have been working at numerous pits in the 251-square-km openpit mine ever since. The first machine passed the 100,000-hour mark on Oct. 7, 2013, and the second only 22 days later on Oct. 29, 2013.
Yanacocha, which is owned by Newmont Mining Corp., is one of the largest gold mines in the world. It is situated roughly 30 km north of Cajamarca, high in the Andes Mountains, where extreme conditions exist. The material at the mine is abrasive, weather can be a challenge and at an altitude of 3,500 to 4,000 m above sea level, close attention needs to be paid to the engines.
“The longevity of these machines, particularly in the aggressive conditions that exist in Yanacocha, is a testament to the reliability, durability and efficiency of Hitachi excavators,” said Craig Lamarque, division manager, Hitachi. “When Hitachi builds something, they build it right. That’s why you can rely on our focused line of excavators and haulers.”
Both machines were serviced at the mine in Yanacocha. In addition to normal maintenance, such as daily inspections, filter and oil changes, and hose inspections, the Yanacocha team changed components by condition or by hours. In addition, the swing bearings were changed every 20,000 to 40,000 hours and major structural components, such as the boom, arm, side frames and main frame, were changed or repaired upon inspection.