500th Cummins due at ‘oresome’ Grasberg

Posted: October 8, 2013 in Mining

The 500th Cummins engine will enter service at the massive Grasberg mining operations in Papua, Indonesia, in 2013.

No one mine in the world has as much mobile machinery as Grasberg. At the beginning of 2013, over 450 Cummins engines were in service at Freeport-McMoRan’s mine and port operations.

Built at an oxygen-depleted altitude of 4,285 metres (14,000 ft), Grasberg is a spectacular feat of engineering. It is the world’s largest copper and gold mine in terms of reserves, and its operations are on a scale unique even by the standards of modern mega-mining.

While the spectacular open pit dominates the landscape, one of the world’s largest underground mining operations is also part of the Grasberg complex. Production from the underground ore bodies, which are beneath and adjacent to the Grasberg open pit, are expected to ramp up over several years to around 240,000 tonnes a day.

Spectacular Grasberg open pit is at an oxygen-depleted altitude of 4,285 metres (14,000 ft).

Spectacular Grasberg open pit is at an oxygen-depleted altitude of 4,285 metres (14,000 ft).

Open pit mining began at Grasberg in 1990 and will continue through to 2016.

To ensure its engines provide the highest levels of uptime, Cummins has a service support team of 45 at Grasberg, headed up by 10 hand-picked diesel technicians from Cummins branches in Australia.

Cummins has further technicians dedicated to the Grasberg operation at its rebuild facility in Cairns (Qld), where most engines are shipped for overhaul.

Cummins started making its mark at Grasberg in 2000 in arguably the world’s toughest mining environment when the first 2700 hp Cummins QSK60 engines went into service in Komatsu 930E haul trucks. Today, there are 50 QSK60-powered 930Es, most of these engines having repowered trucks that originally had Detroit Diesel Series 4000 units.

Underground there are over 200 Cummins engines, mostly 6.7-litre QSB units engaged in a variety of tasks, propelling concrete agitators, flat-deck trucks, crane trucks, scissor lifts and loaders.

The hydraulic shovel fleet in the Grasberg open pit includes six O&K units, mainly RH200 machines, each with dual Cummins KTTA38 power, while over 50 Western Star trucks with Cummins ISX400 engines service the mine in a variety of configurations.

Cummins power can be found in a wide variety of other applications at Grasberg, ranging from generator sets, water pumps, welders and compressors to cranes and forklifts.

One of the 50 QSK60-powered Komatsu 930E haul trucks at Grasberg.

One of the 50 QSK60-powered Komatsu 930E haul trucks at Grasberg.

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