Hard rock mining puts extreme pressure on the dig machines, with a drive to extract as many tones as possible of roughly blasted stone. It is almost impossible for operators to not incur damage. When damage is incurred there is an evergrowing production loss associated with the machine’s not producing.
Failure to use protection systems like ChromeGuard results in huge losses in production and significantly increased maintenance costs. On one mine site with 13 primary dig machines, it was calculated that around 1.9 million tones of iron ore production per year were lost due to bucket cylinder damage. On top of this, there was close to $1 million costs in replacement parts and labour associated with this issue.
With the average iron ore price at around US$70/tone and an average of $14/tone to produce, having ChromeGuard bucket cylinder protection systems fitted to the dig fleet of a large mining operation could add over US$100 million to the bottom line.