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2018 Elko Mining Expo

Joe Sollitt, senior product manager for Komatsu America, points out the stabilizing features on a D375A-8 dozer at the 2018 Elko Mining Expo on June 7. 

ELKO — Businesses from all over the globe converged on the grounds around the Elko Convention Center on June 7 for the 33rd annual Elko Mining Expo to network, educate and, in some cases, debut state-of-the art mining equipment and technology.

“Elko is booming with mining, and it is the place to be,” said Russ Osborne, intermountain regional manager for Epiroc. This is the first year that Epiroc has exhibited in Elko as a separate business after splitting from Atlas Copco to focus on mining.

Osborne and the Epiroc team used the event — which runs through June 8 — to introduce equipment, including the S2 Boomer jumbo drill and the ST7 Scooptram.

Osborne explained that both machines are battery operated as part of the company’s goal to reduce its carbon footprint while decreasing noise and diesel particulates underground.

The jumbo on display was the first of its kind to be shown in Nevada, and the scoop made its U.S. debut at the expo.

At the Komatsu Equipment Co. exhibit set up on the lawn in front of the Elko Convention Center doors, Senior Product Manager Joe Sollitt described the company’s recently released “intelligent dozer” — the D375A-8. The dozer offers improved comfort for the operator with ergonomic features, increased cab size and upgraded support structure to decrease shaking while increasing efficiency by about 18 percent, Sollitt said.

The new dozer “addressed the customers’ concerns,” added Dan Leff, Komatsu Equipment Co. territory manager, “and made it more comfortable.”

Nearby, another company showcased its premier dozer: Liebherr USA Co.’s PR 776.

Scott Tuck, Liebherr USA Elko branch manager for the mining division, said that particular dozer was one of only two in the U.S., with the other finishing up a lease at Barrick Gold Corp.’s Cortez operations. He touted the 72-ton dozer’s high track, electrostatic drive, V12 engine and 3,600 horsepower.

“They are selling like hot cakes in Europe right now,” Tuck said.

A machine not yet operating in Nevada is a drill handling system by CMAC-Thyssen Mining Group. CMAC Technical Manager Guillaume Julien demonstrated the DHS’s operation using a hydraulic base and joysticks under the shade of the contractor’s tent. He said the DHS is designed to replace the jackleg drill, which can be physically challenging to use.

Julien attended the expo with Reg P. Ryan, business development manager for Thyssen, an underground mining contractor that has been participating in the mining expo for several years and opened a branch in Spring Creek within the past year.

“Mining in Nevada, the Elko area, is the main employer, the biggest part of the local economy,” Ryan said, explaining that the open format of the expo allows vendors to connect with mine workers, not just the bosses. “What you really want is to get the guys using the equipment on a daily basis.”

Other machines making their debut in Nevada were an industrial vacuum by Vector Technologies Ltd. and a hydraulic scissor lift by Skid-Lift.

“So far, so good,” said Marcus G. Oliver, regional sales manager for Vector Technologies. “We’ve had a lot of people interested in our products.”

First-timer Michael Vater, sales representative for Skid-Lift, said leaders at his company thought the Elko Mining Expo “could be a golden solution to what we are doing.”

A representative from L&H Industrial, which serves the mining industry by designing, engineering, manufacturing and repairing heavy equipment, said the event allows the company to show its pride in and interact with the community. The company opened an Elko branch on Idaho Street this year.

“Especially the Nevada mining market, L&H is committed to,” said Brittney Thomas, marketing manager. “It’s a nice time for [clients] to see some of our products, and they have a chance to meet a lot more of the people behind our brand.”

The two-day exhibition, organized by the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority, is geared toward the mining industry but is also open to the public. The array of almost 500 booths form a dynamic display in a fair-like atmosphere over the more-than city block near Elko’s Main City Park.

Inside the convention center and on the sidewalks, streets and grass outside, mining industry support service professionals stand ready to greet potential customers and members of the general public to describe equipment, gadgets and services while handing out tchotchkes and other goodies including Frisbees, bottle openers, hats, koozies, popsicles and popcorn.

It is about “networking, but I would also say community,” said Shaun Brown, general manager of rental service for Komatsu Equipment Co. “You get the customers, but also, the kids get to see what their parents do.”

The Elko Mining Expo continues June 8 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

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Mining Quarterly - Mining, state and county reporter

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