Caterpillar has announced it will discontinue manufacture of its room and pillar equipment, and track drills.
According to the company, it is part of a move to pursue ‘strategic alternatives, including a possible divesture, for its room and pillar products”.
“These moves, which align with Caterpillar’s ongoing restructuring, will allow us to focus resources on those areas of the business that provide the highest, sustainable growth and best long-term returns,” Cat group president for Resources Industries, Denise Johnson, said.
The underground mining products under strategic review include continuous miners, feeder breakers, coal haulage systems, highwall miners, roof bolters, utility vehicles, and diesel vehicles.
Production of tracked drills will also be discontinued.
Cat will also stop taking orders on this equipment.
Johnson explained the decision as a repositioning for Cat and its equipment portfolio.
“We firmly believe mining is an attractive long-term industry, and we continue to invest in a broad range of products, both surface and underground,” she said.
“We are targeting investments within the mining product portfolio to concentrate on those areas with the highest profitability potential.”
As part of this product discontinuation decision, Cat will also lay off 155 workers at its Houston, Pennsylvania facility, where room and pillar products are produced, and 40 workers in Denison, Texas where track drills are manufactured.
Cat will also change the focus on its Winston-Salem, North Carolina facility, transforming it from a mining to a rail facility later this year, with large mining truck components manufacturing to be shifted to Decatur, Illinois.