Hellman moves the Ace of Spades

By Alex Dahm22 May 2008

One of Europe's largest open cast mine draglines is being decommissioned and moved to a new home in the US.

Hellman Worldwide Logistics UK will manage the transportation of the dismantled 4,500 tonne dragline excavator, nicknamed the Ace of Spades, from Northumberland to the Port of Blyth, both in the UK.

Leading UK rental company Hewden has supplied equipment to dismantle the machine and ship it to new owner Dallas-based North American Coal Corporation (NACC), where it will be rebuilt to continue operation. Weldex, the largest crawler crane operating company in the UK, provided two cranes to help with the dismantling operation: a 135 tonne capacity R-B 135 and a 280 tonne Liebherr LR 1280.

According to Hellman the excavator, with a 100 tonne capacity bucket and a 300 foot (91.4 m) boom, started operation in the early 1990s, but has not been used since 2002. Shipping the giant machine across the Atlantic to its new home would take time and dedication, explained Richard Riddle, field service engineer for P&H Minepro Services, which commissioned the work. “Although the boom was already detached from the main body of the Ace of Spades, we still have to carefully dismantle this and the main body of the dragline. We started this in October.”

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