WesTrac helps deliver Yancoal Moolarben on-time & under budget 

Following nearly two years of negotiations, planning and helping to manage its delivery, WesTrac is pleased to announce the successful commissioning of a complete Caterpillar longwall mining system at Yancoal’s Moolarben Coal Operations.

This successful joint project was completed on-time and under budget – a commendable example of the dedication and commitment of the WesTrac and Caterpillar Underground Coal Mining Teams. Since its deployment the longwall system has produced approximately 650,000 tonnes (480 shears/cuts completed) with minimal equipment issues.

Based in NSW’s western coalfields, the longwall project began in early 2015 with a joint Cat/WesTrac tender submission. After a lengthy process of presentations and negotiations by the WesTrac and Caterpillar Mining Sales Teams, a design and manufacturing process at Caterpillar’s German and Chinese facilities was entered into. The final commissioning occurred onsite in October with the official opening taking place early November.

WesTrac's Mining Team and Greg Graham, Chief Executive NSW/ACT, attended the official opening of the Moolarben Underground complex where keynote speeches by Yancoal’s Chinese and Australian Executive Management praised all involved in the delivery of the project a month ahead of schedule and under budget. They acknowledged that this could only be achieved through the dedication of those involved in all aspects of the delivery of such a large and critical project for Yancoal in Australia.


WesTrac's focus now turns to assisting Moolarben in ramping the system up to its name plate capacity of 3,500 tonnes per hour with an expected 6,000,000 tonnes per annum. This will be undertaken through WesTrac’s dedicated Project Manager, Mining Support Manager and service personnel on site with the support the WesTrac parts, workshop and technical support team at our Mt Thorley and Tomago facilities. WesTrac will also have the support of the Caterpillar Underground Coal Teams based at Beresfield and Lunen Germany.

Caterpillar Longwall Mining System


  • Feb 2015 – joint Cat/WesTrac tender submitted
  • Nov 2015 – successful bid announced
  • Feb 2016 – technical specs and designs finalised
  • Mar 2016 – manufacturing begins at Caterpillar in Lunen, Germany, Langfang and Zhengzhou China
  • Jan 2017 – first components arrive in Australia
  • Feb 2017 – mini-build and compatibility trials conducted by WesTrac Underground workshop at Beresfield
  • July 2017 – dispatch to Moolarben mine site begins
  • Sept 2017 – final components installed
  • 16 Oct 2017 - final commissioning phase completed
  • 18 Oct 2017 - production commences

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