In the Glubokaya­ pit at the Skalisty mine (an asset of Norilsk Nickel), the mining­ division of the group uses our­ mine cars for penetration of exploratory drifts of the Oktyabrskoe field. The contract provides for the ­delivery of 10 innovative VB-5.5M (side-­dumping) mine cars, which, while maintaining external dimensions, are one cubic metre more spacious (5.5 cubic metres) than traditional VG-4.5 (mine­ car with the capacity of 4.5 cubic metres). Five equipment units have already arrived in Taimyr, and five more are expected in the­ near future.

In addition, Norilsk Nickel itself, in order to ­increase the volume given out in one cycle, purchased from our company ten VB-7.5-type mine cars (improved­ version of VB-5.5 with side-dumping, with the capacity of 7.5 cubic metres). The new development is 35% more productive than its prototype.

"The global tendency towards depletion of mineral­ resources and increasing difficulty of their development cause deposits to be now ­accepted for development provided that their valuable element content is 0.2% and above. This requires technological ­upgrade of the entire mining and metallurgical complex and, not least, the creation of the most efficient ore transportation schemes, since their contribution to the cost of the final product ­ranges from 30% (in underground mining) to 50% (in opencast mining). OKB MIKRON is the first and so far the only one in the domestic market, ready to offer its partners solutions that can not only reduce operating costs, but also ­increase the productivity of mining­ many-fold," Dmitry Salov­, General Director of OKB MIKRON, commented on cooperation with miners.

It is worth reminding that our plant introduced its first improved mine car model (VG-5M instead of VG-4.5) in the market in 2015. Speaking of it, the placement of the headlight pocket inside the body bowl and the reduction of the gap between the mine car bottom and the wheel flange from 50 mm to 20 mm, made it possible to ­increase the transported load volume by 20%. In addition, the uprade of mechanical fastener and wheel sets enhanced the movement smoothness and prolonged the equipment operational­ life. Consumers of the new development were unanimous to notice a significant reduction in the ­need for spare parts and an increase in the overhaul period. As a result, complex ­equipment replacements were terminated, repair­ areas were removed from the horizons, and maintenance costs for mine cars decreased more than 5-fold.

"Over five years, our engineers and designers have expanded the range to 44 pieces, having produced over 1,100 units­ of mine rail transport (MRT) (by the end of this year, more than 200 more ­wagons will be manufactured). KANEX SHAKHTOSTROY, the KANEX group's ­mining division purchased 22 mine cars to meet its own needs. The rest are successfully operated at the Norilsk Nickel, Severstal and Evrazruda mines. It is planned to ­introduce about 20 more modifications of mine cars to the market in the next three years. Moreover, means for rolling stock ­unloading are continued to be developed as well as a modular electric locomotive, self-propelled installations for the repair and maintenance of rail tracks and equipment. The enterprise's ideas for the ­future are to meet any requirements of our customers (both Russian and from neighboring countries) in terms of mining­ equipment and MRT," shared Sergey ­Trifonov, Retail Director of OKB MIKRON.