Dom-Ex Turns Iron Into Gold for New Guinea Mine

Tue May 18, 2004 - West Edition

When a new gold mine in New Guinea needed capital equipment and needed it fast, it relied on Dom-Ex Inc., headquartered in Hibbing, MN.

The mine needed an O&K RH200 shovel, five Caterpillar 100 ton (90 t) 777D off-highway trucks and three Caterpillar 150 ton (135 t) 785B off-highway trucks – and they needed them within 60 days.

The mine put out the bid and awarded the contract to Dom-Ex, which immediately put all of its resources into action for the $11M-plus project.

These resources included the capital investment in the machinery, the man-power commitment (15 mechanics and welders working triple shifts 24 hours per day) and the desire to complete the project on time.

“There are lots of companies that would love to have a challenge such as this, but most have the sense to know they are not capable of completing it on time aside from not having the man-power and financial backing to carry it through,” said Jeff Miller, general manager of Dom-Ex’s Dallas, TX, Operation.

According to Miller, the 777Ds and 785Bs were refurbished at its Grand Prairie, TX, facility. The beds were rebuilt along with having the trucks re-powered with brand new power trains, which were installed by Walker Cat in Beckley, WV.

“The power trains were an investment of more than $900,000 alone,” Miller said. Miller also stated that the logistics were a challenge. The trucks were worked on in Grand Prairie and Beckley, the “care kits” of spare parts were assembled and brought in from Hibbing, MN, and the O&K shovel was disassembled, refurbished and made ready for shipping from Elko, NV, to Houston, TX.

“That 1.2 million pound shovel is huge and it was quite a trip,” stated Miller, “The shovel required coordinating 30 truck loads to get it to Houston,” Miller added.

“Since the mine is in a very remote area of New Guinea, we recommended sending care kits to back up the shovel and trucks,” said Miller. “For the trucks, we included complete hose kits and various types of filters. The shovel also required hose kits and filters as well as cylinders, hydraulic pumps and complete sets of wear items. More than $2 million in parts went along with the order,” Miller added.

Dom-Ex sent one of its managers along with the shipment to supervise the reassembly of the trucks and recommissioning of the shovel.

“We’ve handled projects like this many times in the past and we have to attribute part of our success to the ingenuity and cooperation of Senrac Transportation in Houston since they handle all the coordinating of the transportation here in the States as well as customs and charting the vessel for shipping to the destination country,” said Miller.

“To perform a complete turn-key job such as this in 60 days, I think people in the industry have come to expect the impossible to become possible when dealing with Dom-Ex,” Miller added.

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