2000 – 2021: More than 20 years of partnership between Zeppelin and “Apatit” in Russia

Do you want to know how a success story in the mining industry looks like? In this blog article, we tell you more about Zeppelin’s long-term partnership with the world’s largest manufacturer of high-quality phosphate raw materials, the Russian company KF AO “Apatit”. The cooperation between Apatit and Zeppelin Russland (our local legal entity in Russia) has been lasting for more than 20 years by now and has grown stronger and stronger. During this time, about 100 Caterpillar high performance mining machines have been delivered to the industrial sites of AO “Apatit”. A few outstanding examples from the last few years deserve special mention.

A Cat 793D in the “Karelskiy Okatysh” mining jobsite in Kostomuksha (North-West Russia), 2014 © Zeppelin Russland

2017: A 70-ton giant plunges into battle

In June 2017, a new Cat R2900G underground loader, or LHD (Load Haul Dump) loader, was ordered at the mine of AO “Apatit”, a company belonging to the “PhosAgro” Group, in Kirovsk, in the Murmansk region in North-West Russia. Zeppelin Russland supplied the equipment: This was the first time this unique dump wheel loader was delivered to a mining company in the European part of Russia. The Cat R2900G underground loader was purchased to ensure high productivity and reduce the company’s unit costs when carrying out underground mining operations. The Cat R2900G underground loader differed from the unit machines previously used in the Kirovskiy mine: It’s designed to load and haul large quantities of material at a low cost per ton in underground mining. The compact design provides mobility, and the rugged construction and maintainability ensure excellent productivity, long life and low operating costs.

Kirovskiy mine, 2017 © Zeppelin Russland

2019: Reliable helpers in underground mining

At the end of 2019, more Caterpillar underground equipment was delivered to the Kirovskiy mine. New R1700G/R1700 loaders loaders were purchased as part of the program of technical re-equipment and modernization of the existing equipment developed at the “Apatit” plant. Over the years, the machines have proven to be robust and undemanding and are optimally suited for underground conditions. Combined with the compact design, powerful engine and excellent mobility, this results in the formula of a reliable helper in the mine.

2020: Assembly of the Cat 6040 giant excavator in Kirovsk

In 2020, a new Cat 6040 electro-hydraulic excavator was commissioned. The machine was purchased for open-cast mining operations in the Vostochniy mine in Kirovsk. The first vehicle was delivered to the construction site on six trawlers in disassembled form. A total of 36 modules with a weight of 1 to 50 tons arrived. It took almost a month to assemble the excavator, in a hangar located on the customer’s industrial site. Seven employees of Zeppelin Russland took part in the daily process: six mechanics and one process engineer. Two Caterpillar engineers from Germany, where the equipment is manufactured, closely observed the specialists’ progress and provided assistance and advice. At the mine they are certain about one thing: The new technology will make it possible to increase productivity.

The unique process of a Cat 6040 transportation to the jobsite at a long distance, Kirovsk 2020 © Zeppelin Russland

Further information:

Commissioning of new PM Cat R2900G at Kirovskiy mine

1990s: Zeppelin goes international

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