In the Argentinian Andes, at more than 4,000 metres above sea level and one of the toughest places to work on Earth, a Scania R 620 V8 from MTZ Transport is an important link in the production chain of the Veladero gold mine. Its mission: to feed the enormous mining dump trucks that “drink” tons of special coolant to do their job.
Driver Andrés Martinez climbs on board his Scania R 620 V8 truck at the Veladero gold mine, one of the biggest open-cast mines in South America. The Veladero gold mine employs around 4,400 people and moves over 80,000 tonnes of ore a day.
Before the big climb, Andrés Martínez checks his truck and load on a beautiful February morning at MTZ Transport’s base camp in San Juan, at a mere 640 metres above sea level. A journey up 3,500 metres to his delivery point awaits him. The road to the mine is a perfect candidate for using an Opticruise master to keep the brakes in condition and to achieve optimal fuel economy.
MTZ Transport has only one Scania V8, but it is used for the company’s most demanding operations. Powerful and trusty, no other truck in the MTZ fleet can do better at these altitudes.
Cooling the beasts
At 2 pm, the Scania R 620 has delivered the coolant containers on time, and the liquid is transferred to another Scania off-road truck fitted with a 973-litre deposit tank and a pump for filling. Rodrigo Campos climbs a five-metre stair to refill coolant in the dump truck.
After being refilled, the giants are again able to carry their rock loads to the grinder. There are 45 of these huge dump trucks operating in Veladero. With a height of 10 metres, a 79-litre engine and 250 tonnes of load capacity, these vehicles work non-stop 24 hours, 365 days of the year.