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The official dealer of Hitachi in Kyrgyzstan, Eurasian Machinery company has supplied five new Hitachi EX3600-6 excavators to operate at high altitudes at minus temperatures at Kumtor gold mine. The gigantic mining machines are being used 24 hours a day to perform operations on breaking the ice, moraine and rock formations to access deposits of gold.

Under the most challenging working conditions, Hitachi machinery operates at Central Asia’s largest gold mine, located at an altitude of 4000 meters above sea level. The mine is owned by the Canadian mining company Centerra Gold Inc. Mine capacity currently accounts for more than one-third of the national exports of goods and services. In 2011, 583,156 ounces (18.1 tons) of gold were mined.

The development of the mine is carried out by the open method with the use of generally accepted drilling, blasting, loading and transportation methods. The unique working conditions of Kumtor require reliable machinery featuring durability and long useful life, corresponding to the level and qualification of the Kumtor team. Hitachi Construction Machinery Eurasia Sales and Eurasian Machinery are closely cooperating with the mine management and departments for training and maintenance to ensure uninterrupted and highly effective operation of EX3600-6 to meet the production plan requirements.

Each Hitachi EX3600-6 excavator has been equipped with a special package for low temperature operating mode, which includes engine heating and various covers to prevent hot air discharge and cold air entering the system. Engine and pump set regulator settings have been adapted to Kumtor’s operating conditions, since here it is crucial that the machinery operates uninterruptedly even at low oxygen.

“Dedication of our employees, service and equipment providers must be at 110 %, and Hitachi supports us in our commitment to perform operations at the highest level and be a world class manufacturer”, says Rodni Stuparik, Vice President for production at Kumtor Operating Company. “We purchased those particular excavators because Hitachi machinery is reputed for its reliability, productivity and high service level in the mining industry”.

“Hitachi EX3600-6 mining excavators are perfectly compatible with our mining trucks. Due to the bucket capacity of 21 m ³, full loading of 105 m³ dump truck takes four or five cycles, and we believe this to be the optimal level of productivity. In addition, we found that these excavators have lower operating costs than other ones.”

The most experienced operator of Kumtor, Turat Kemelov has been working at the mine for 18 years. “I believe that one should be “at one” with the machine one operates. I feel great about handling EX3600-6 excavator, “he says. “The excavator and me work together as a team. During the training, it was easy to adapt to Hitachi, thanks to the comfort and quality of the working environment. ”

“I like the power of this machine, its precision at stopping and turning when loading. It also features easy access to the internal compartments for regular technical checks. The hydraulic steering is highly sensitive, which provides quick and easy movement with the slightest joystick movement. Under severe loads, the EX3600-6 can easily handle large scope of work. ”

Highly effective operation of Hitachi excavator at Kumtor gold mine once again confirms the high level of these machines - their durability, performance, whereas the wisely and thought-out design ensures round-the-clock operation under the most challenging mining conditions.