The first half of this programme was filmed at three mountain-top surface coal mines in north-western Spain, and the second half at a huge talc mine in the French Pyrenees Mountains.
The large, specialised machines in this programme have one task: to move mountains. For the first part of the programme we visit three coal mines in northern Spain. Here we filmed a 520-tonne Hitachi EX5500 hydraulic excavator making light work of overburden. This beast feeds 200-tonne capacity Cat 789C trucks in just three or four passes. Nearby, a Komatsu D475A dozer – the biggest in Europe – is ripping through rock, and we also filmed Cat’s 5010B and 5130B.
You will see other immense hydraulic excavators at work, including a Komatsu PC3000 and Hitachi EX3600. Among the many supporting machines on view are Komatsu WA600 and WA800 wheeled loaders.
For the second half of the programme we visit the French Pyrenees Mountains at the Luzenac talc mine where we see a Cat 992G, and a 340-tonne Liebherr R994B hydraulic excavator hard at work feeding Komatsu HD985 and Cat 777 dump trucks with overburden.
Much smaller Liebherr excavator scratch away at the talc seam, and the programme also details how talc is brought down the mountain – not by trucks but by a bucket and cable. The mine is one of the few remaining mines to rely on such a system. At the bottom of the mountain we show how talc is processed and made into a wide range of different products.
You will find the sites themselves make for fascinating viewing, with a contrast between the thin coal seams of the Spanish mines and the glistening white abundance of talc at Luzenac.
This 90-minute programme is number four in the Massive Machines series of DVDs.
Researched and scripted by Steven Vale, this programme was filmed by Roger Wiltshire and directed by Jonathan Theobald. Narrated by David Holt, this DVD was produced by Old Pond Publishing in 2009.
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