UK based LKAB Minerals Ltd continues a tradition of operating Volvo loading shovels dating back to 1995 with the addition of a new L90H loading shovel and a second unit on order for delivery this Autumn.

The new 12-tonne loading shovel has been supplied complete with a 2.5m³ direct mount straight-edged bucket for handling refactories from the company’s recycling facility near Sheffield.

“Both the size of the machine and especially the size of the bucket are the key to handling the variety, weight and density of the materials arriving here on site,” says Works Manager, Simon Hallissey. “…we receive a whole variety of refactories material, ranging from Alumina 55 to slag coming from chrome metal production which can have densities ranging from anywhere between 2 to 4t/m³ and are therefore extremely heavy. The L90H and bucket combination is proving to be the optimum solution for handling this type of diversity and not least for loading the hoppers for the crusher, drying plant and screens.”

The L90H supplied to LKAB is powered by a Volvo Stage-IV final Volvo 6-litre engine, developing 186 nett hp with a maximum torque of 853Nm at just 1,400rpm. Fuel savings are enhanced by the Volvo Eco-pedal, encouraging the operator to run the machine at its optimum rpm in the engine’s torque curve. To meet LKAB’s specification requirements, the machine has been equipped with an optional reversible cooling fan, an oil bath air cleaner coupled to a Turbo II pre-cleaner. The machine is also fitted with an RDS Loadmaster.

The new L90H joins an existing L90G model and has been put in charge of loading a variety of material into the main crusher, then rehandling the crushed material into the drying plant, and finally on to the screening plant where it is bagged, ready for dispatch. The machines are operated on a sixteen-hour, two-shift per day system at Bagmoor Lane. Similarly, there are two Volvo L50 machines and a L90 shovel working across the five LKAB facilities across the UK.

The L90H, as with all of other Volvo loading shovels, has been supplied complete with a Volvo Gold Service agreement, which in effect is a full repair and maintenance programme offered by Volvo Construction Equipment. Apart from fuel and oils, Volvo takes care of the uptime running of the machines, giving LKAB Minerals complete peace of mind on machine availability.

“LKAB Minerals has enjoyed a long-term partnership with Volvo CE with machines matching our expectations of high-reliability performance and operational cost efficiency,” says Paul Boustead, Operations Director at LKAB Minerals. “As we seek to further improve our business performance with the LKAB Operational Excellence Programme, the efficiencies gained through partnering with Volvo CE and selecting this model in terms of reduced fuel consumption, improved environmental performance and reduced total running costs made the decision to replace our existing machine with the next generation Volvo very easy.”