Striving to find effective, flexible solutions to customers’ unique needs underpinned Babcock’s recent partnership with Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC). Earlier this year ZAC celebrated an impressive average of 5 000 machine hours worked in the space of just one year, with zero downtime while running 24-hour shifts. 

ZAC’s fleet of Babcock-supplied and maintained machinery consists of three Volvo A30G articulated haulers, two Volvo crawler excavators and two Volvo wheel loaders. The machinery was purchased to manage the reprocessing of a discard dump in KwaZulu-Natal, located approximately 100 km from Richards Bay, and has worked up to 5 800 hours per individual machine since July 2017. 

Babcock and ZAC partnership a success story

Owned by Menar, a mining resources investment company, the Zululand Anthracite Colliery is South Africa’s sole producer and exporter of prime anthracite coal. COO of Menar, Bradley Hammond, says the company’s purchase from Babcock is an all-round success story.

“In addition to providing us with a highly competitive price, Babcock was the only company able to fulfil our extended service warranty requirements. The cost-effective, tailored package was the ideal solution for ZAC. Babcock also provided spot-on advice as to which machinery would be the most effective and efficient, and we are currently running at full utilisation with no wastage,” says Hammond.

As the mine dump is located in a remote bushland area, dealing with multiple equipment suppliers would not have been a practical option for ZAC. After a thorough assessment of the market, Babcock stood out with a comprehensive, cost-effective package that ticked all the boxes.

Hammond explains that although the quality of Volvo Construction Equipment was at a higher premium than other contenders, the 10C warranty and attractive maintenance plan offered by Babcock made the package highly cost-effective in the long term.

The CAP10C extended warranty covers 10 000 hours, and Babcock’s Richards Bay branch maintains the Volvo machinery through Caretrack. Caretrack allows for early detection and resolution of problems and Volvo-trained Babcock technicians are sent to site when necessary. 

“The Volvo fleet is a great investment for our mining operation with a fuel burn that is 20% less than competitors and equipment that is perfect for our needs,” says Hammond. 

Siyabonga Mathonsi, Engineering Manager at Zululand Anthracite Colliery, who played a key role in selecting the Volvo machines, adds that the equipment has performed extremely well over the past year in terms of service and ease of usability.

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