An Australian earthmoving and haulage company is using a 35-tonne Volvo Construction Equipment wheel loader to produce lithium at Galaxy Resources’ mine in Ravensthorpe.
Australia is one of the biggest producers of lithium, accounting for around half of the world’s lithium supply. With the global lithium battery market predicted to grow at 12% from 2017 to 2024, demand for the rare metal is booming.
Ravensthorpe Haulage Pty Ltd., an earthmoving and haulage company based in Western Australia, is currently using an L260H wheel loader from Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE), to mine and process lithium at a Galaxy Resources’ mine in Ravensthorpe, one of the largest lithium mines in Western Australia. The 35-tonne wheel loader loads 5,000 tons of lithium for 24 hours daily.
“Our operators like the L260H wheel loader’s performance. It’s powerful for loading and provides good visibility, which enable them to be more precise when operating,” said Wayne Daw, owner of Ravensthorpe Haulage Pty Ltd. “Plus, operators say the ergonomic seat and control positions allow them to work in comfort.”
The L260H is fitted with a powerful D13 engine to deliver more power and torque. The load-sensing hydraulics are designed to enhance the responsiveness of attachments and improve the lifting and lowering speed of the boom. For faster cycle times, the new HTL310 transmission works in harmony with the powerful engine and axles, and the new converter delivers increased torque output, resulting in better performance.
The L260H comes with two bucket options – the Volvo Rock bucket and the Volvo Rehandling bucket. The Volvo Rock bucket features a longer floor and can hold 11.5% more material than before, resulting in up to 25% greater productivity. The redesigned 7.3 m³ Volvo Rehandling bucket is easy to fill, and the convex sides minimize spillage, for up to 5% greater productivity.
On site since June 2018, the L260H loads lithium into a plant for processing, and also helps load the final product into stockpiles. Daw says most of the processed lithium is shipped to clients in China.
Ravensthorpe Bulk Haulage has a fleet of eight Volvo CE machines, which are all working at the Galaxy Resources’ lithium mine.
“We selected the L260H wheel loader for its reliable performance,” Daw said. “We also appreciate Volvo’s strong aftermarket service support.”
CJD Equipment is the Australian distributor for Volvo Construction Equipment. Founded in 1974, their commitment to providing customers with the highest levels of service and support has seen CJD Equipment grow into Australia’s leading privately-owned equipment supplier.