Early March, two giant Cat 785C mining trucks reached the boarder of Mongolia after having travelled through the United States, Pacific Ocean and China. This journey of thousands of kilometres has little of an exception. It was the last 650 kilometres that made the delivery of these trucks to the Ukhaakhudag coal mining project site near Tavan Tolgoi in Mongolia so special: driving across the wilds of Goby desert.
Upon arrival to Zamyn-Uud, the primary rail and road border crossing between Mongolia and China, Wagner Asia, the Caterpillar® dealer in Mongolia, assembled the trucks and started the ride to the Ukhaakhudag mines.
“We drove across the Goby desert, there’s nothing out there but bare wilderness. There was no other way to deliver these trucks to the mine. It took us in total 48 hours, and we actually camped in a tent the night between the departure and arrival,” says Battur, the Sales Director at Wagner Asia. But he also says it was not for the personnel of Wagner Asia that this adventure was the most unforgettable: “At one point we drove past a camp of herders. A man came out of one of the Gers – a traditional dwelling of the nomads – and you could tell he was really astonished and even a bit frightened by the massive machines driving by. It’s not everyday you see a 250-tonne mining truck at your backyard!”
A month later three other trucks followed the first two and more will follow by the end of 2009. The gigantic 785C mining truck has an operating weight of 102 tonnes. It is more than 11 metres long, 5 metres tall and 6 metres wide.
Ukhaakhudag is owned by Energy Resources, Inc., a Mongolian company, that recently signed an operating agreement with Leighton Mining Contractors.