Cat ups mining investment

by Marcia Gruver, Editorial Director, Equipment World

Caterpillar says it will “significantly enhance the company’s position as the leading manufacturer” of mining products with a full range of mining shovels and acceleration of its previously-announced mining truck plant capacity expansion.

Cat will produce shovels ranging from 125 tons to 800 tons in Aurora, Illinois. Other production sites throughout the world will be announced at a later date. In early 2011, Cat will begin pilot production of the new 125-ton class shovel. Larger shovels will be available beginning in 2013 and through 2014. With this expansion, customers will have a direct match for loading its mining trucks, from the 100-ton class 777F through the 400-ton class 797F.

Additional truck capacity at the firm’s Decatur, Illinois, plant  is expected to come on line beginning in 2011. The Decatur expansion will increase truck capacity at the facility by nearly 30 percent.  Cat will also increase truck capacity at its plant near Chennai, India.

Combined, the long-term shovel development program and added truck capacity represents a $700 million investment through 2014.

In addition, the firm says initial interest in its new electric drive 795F AC truck has prompted it to increase its planned 2011 build rate for the truck by more than 40 percent.