BNI Coal, a lignite mine near Center, North Dakota, recently purchased its second Hitachi mining excavator.
The mine accepted delivery of an EX2600-6 in March, and began operating on April 15, 2013. The EX2600 joins the mine’s one-year old EX2500-6 to clear overburden for BNI’s three draglines.
Prior to the Hitachi excavators, BNI was utilizing scrapers to remove the overburden. The implementation of the excavator approach has allowed the mine to realize significant savings compared to moving dirt with scrapers. Luke Retterath, BNI Coal maintenance planner, expects to move roughly 8-10 million yards of dirt per year with the fleet of Hitachi excavators.
“The 2500 was working really well for us and we really liked the cost savings,” said Retterath. “When we had the opportunity to buy a fleet of used trucks, we decided to add another excavator to our fleet.”
Randy Rudnick is the operator of the new EX2600-6.
“It’s faster and smoother to operate, and it’s got more hoisting power,” said Rudnick. “It’s a good machine. I can’t say anything bad about it.”
BNI Coal, a subsidiary of ALLETE (NYSE-ALE) delivers roughly 4 ½ million tons of coal per year to the nearby Minnkota Power Cooperative.
BNI Coal Company is serviced by RDO Equipment Co. in Bismarck, ND.