Walter continues mining fleet expansion

WALTER Mining increased its presence in the underground coal mining contracting business recently, swelling its equipment hire ranks with the purchase of a brand new continuous miner, shuttle cars and underground loader / utility vehicles, plus ancillary equipment.

Angie Tomlinson

Walter purchased brand new equipment from another contractor, including a Joy 12CM32, two Joy 15SC shuttle cars and two JUG-A-0 UL/UVs. At the same time it placed orders for two Stamler feeder breakers, two Ampcontrol distribution control boxes and two auxiliary fans.

The reasoning behind the purchase for business development general manager Peter Roberts was simple: “We need the gear to continue to win the work.”

Over just the past 18 months Walter has purchased, according to Roberts, a “substantial amount of equipment” to rapidly expand its hire fleet.

During November 2005 Walter bought Waratah Engineering's hire fleet, plus new Waracars. The deal started Walter’s fleet at three continuous miners, six shuttle cars and two feeder breakers.

In March this year Walter purchased a fully overhauled Joy 12CM30 machine to make four CMs in the contractor’s fleet and took delivery of two new Eimco ED7 LHDs. That Joy 12CM30 is now currently being overhauled to suit a new project that Walter is about to begin.

Today the hire fleet stands at five Joy continuous miners, eight shuttle cars, six roadheaders, four feeder breakers, four auxiliary fans, 10 LHDs, eight minecruisers and a large suite of ancillary equipment to support roadway development.

The company’s hire fleet is not the only thing on the rise – since the fold of its parent company in April 2005 Walter Mining has built itself from turnover of $A50 million to in excess of $200 million this year, including its acquisition of Diversified Construction Corporation, a specialist pipeline contractor.