CJD digs deep for multi-million tonne tailings facility

FMR has three Volvo L260H wheel loaders across its mine sites.

Few applications or locations are out of reach for CJD Equipment. This is why FMR Investments has partnered with CJD to build a four-million-tonne tailings storage facility in the Goldfields of Western Australia.

FMR Investments has been in the mining game since the late 1980s as a miner and a former contractor, giving the company a history of expertise and expectations of what it takes to get a job done. 

For the past 10 years, FMR has maintained a strong relationship with CJD Equipment, deploying several machines to its sites for thousands of hours of smooth operation. 

FMR operates the Eloise copper mine in Queensland, the Gordon Sidar gold mine outside Kalgoorlie, and the Greenfields Mill at Coolgardie, also near Kalgoorlie. 

With CJD’s dozens of branches, dealers and service agents across Australia, FMR has no trouble consulting with the supplier to find the right equipment for its projects. 

For a tailings dam at Greenfields, FMR ordered a Volvo EC350D excavator from CJD as it had already experienced success with the machine at other locations. 

Greenfields Mill general manager John Taaffe says choosing the EC350D was an easy decision and describes why CJD is a strong supplier.

“It came down to a price point, fuel economy and availability of the machine as well. CJD are really easy to deal with and we said yes pretty quickly,” Taaffe tells Australian Mining.

“It’s their service support and the back-up service in the event of a breakdown; they’re very quick to come out and diagnose issues, and fix problems that we have on site.” 

“They can help remotely, and they usually can send technicians to site within a couple of hours.”

The new tailings dam will be built in four stages and cover 24 hectares, according to Taaffe. The first stage will involve moving around 1.1 million tonnes of material over the course of three to four months. 

Taaffe says his business requires a reliable supplier which can get the equipment on site at a moment’s notice. 

“The dam needs to happen quickly and when we eventually get the go-ahead from the regulator, we need to be ready to start immediately,” Taaffe says. 

Not only does Taaffe have minimal problems with maintaining the Volvos, but his team members also have no reason to complain about the upgrade. 

FMR has ordered
another Volvo
EC350D excavator from CJD.

“The operators are very happy with them, they’ve got no problem at all,” Taaffe says. 

“They were a bit sceptical about them at the start, obviously with a smaller machine, but pretty soon after they started using them, they found the power was good and they had no issue. They’re a very comfortable machine to drive.”

Away from the Greenfields Mill, at FMR’s Eloise and Gordon Sidar mines, the company has been using three Volvo L260H wheel loaders.

FMR regional sales manager for Western Australia Luke McPherson says FMR’s projects are a great example of how versatile the Volvo machines are.

“FMR has the confidence that these machines can fit into a wide range of their work. The versatility of the L260H and EC350D means that these machines can be used in a wide variety of work across the country,” McPherson says. 

“The L260H – with its reduced fuel consumption gained from an advanced hydraulic system and reduced weight through the loading frame – it’s saving fuel for us without losing any production.”

McPherson believes success stories such as FMR will only continue to come to light as the strength of the Australian mining industry reaches every corner of the country. 

“With the current size of work in Pilbara iron ore, the confidence in gold and investment in infrastructure through Western Australia, investment in new machinery, maintenance of current machinery and long-term contracts are being rewarded,” McPherson says. 

On top of such optimism, FMR expects Volvo will be a mainstay in the mining landscape as the original equipment manufacturer ventures further into electric vehicles. 

“Businesses are always looking forward at how they can help minimise their carbon footprint. With current testing on Volvo electric machinery in Sweden, it is an exciting time to be a part of the industry,” McPherson concludes.  

This story also appears in the September issue of Australian Mining.

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