L&M Radiator is “Golden” to Gold Mining Industry

Innovation is Well-Known Across the Globe for Outperforming Competition

From Indonesia to Nevada, L&M Radiator, based in Hibbing, Minnesota, and in the state’s legendary Iron Range area, is renowned among gold mines worldwide.

“With nearly 80 percent of gold mining equipment running Mesabi® cooling systems, we know what works for those applications and our customers know that,” said John Bernal, L&M Radiator Western sales representative. “Gold is still relatively hard to find, but when you do find it, you will also find our Mesabi radiators on the equipment on site at those operations.”

Gold mining is primarily found in Australia, Canada, Africa, Indonesia, China, Russia, Latin America, and in Alaska and Nevada in the United States. The Carlin Trend, a large gold deposit in Nevada runs from Winnemucca, Nevada, approximately 120 miles east to Elko, Nevada, and its mines along this large deposit that you can be sure that you’ll find Mesabi radiators and coolers supporting these mining operations.

Surface and mined underground, gold is often predominantly found with other minerals, such as copper, platinum, palladium, and silver.

A lot of gold mines are a straight-down shaft and require smaller loaders. These loaders carry a lighter load and have a much lower profile – approximately five feet – so they can go directly into the mine and move around more easily.

“You only have about a 10-foot ceiling in an underground mine,” explained Bernal. “Most manufacturers make low silhouette-type equipment strictly for this application and we are on most of that equipment.”

Cooling System Ingenuity is Golden to Gold Mining Customers

“Field repairability of Mesabi radiators is a key differentiator for our customers,” said Bernal. “When our customers’ trucks sit, quotas are not met, and less money is made. Time is literally money in gold mining.”

Mesabi cooling systems can be found on every facet of gold mining operation — haul trucks, drills, dozers, water trucks, generators, as well as in the mill.

“We tend to recommend the Mesabi copper V-style cooling system for underground gold operations due to ease of cleaning,” Bernal said. “Mesabi copper M-style cooling systems are also commonly used. It’s completely dependent on the operation and L&M Radiator can customize solutions for its mining clients based on the exact needs of the operation. This includes factoring in local environmental conditions, such as intense Arctic cold in Alaska or extreme elevation in Indonesia, into consideration.”

“Unlike coal mining, gold mining is typically not that dirty,” Bernal added. “They drill 25-foot holes to put the explosives in and once blasted, the shovels scoop it up and the trucks go in and haul it out to identify how many ounces of gold are in that two tons of dirt. On rainy days, there will be a bit more mud and on windy days, more dust.”

Mesabi V-core radiators are exclusively designed with a simple, open path to the back of each radiator. This design allows for maximum airflow to the engine as ambient air is unrestricted and at a better angle to flow directly into the engine and for simple cleaning as air and water can travel through easily. Mesabi radiators eliminate leaking and clogging issues.

“In a conventional radiator, each and every time you repair it, you lessen its performance when you cut off that particular channel,” Bernal further noted. “Conventional radiators need to be replaced more frequently, which is typically done when the engine is being overhauled. With Mesabi radiators, all you need to do is clean it with high-pressure water and it will last at least two engine lives.”

L&M Radiator’s exclusive tube and seal design eliminates soldering and is built to absorb vibration and shock; it simply is not going to break from normal daily use. The only way to damage a Mesabi radiator is if a hard object, such as a rock, hits the radiator directly. When and if that happens, customers can easily remove the damaged tube and replace it with a genuine Mesabi plug or a common bolt in the field, or, replace the damaged tube with a new tube, bringing the radiator back to 100% cooling efficiency and preventing costly downtime.

“One customer couldn’t quite believe our Mesabi-brand radiator could last at least two engines and save them an average of $30,000,” explained Bernal. “After he stopped laughing, my customer ordered one and put it in. He has been a customer ever since.”

Another L&M gold mining customer based in Salt Lake City has a fleet of 34 Komatsu® 830E haul trucks. Every year, without doubt, they send one over for radiator maintenance. They inspect and clean them. Typically, only one or two tubes may need to be replaced and then they are sent right back out to the mine.

“Their fleet runs Mesabi radiators with essentially with little or no problems,” noted Bernal. “If they were using a competitor’s radiator and needing to change them out regularly, it would cost them an additional $300,000 to $400,000 per year.”

Reliability Customers Count On

“Our goal has always been – as I like to say – to keep our customers in the dirt,” Bernal noted. “The more the truck is working, the better. Doesn’t matter if it is a haul truck, a shovel, or drill rig, it needs to be up and running and on the job.”

One of L&M’s customers at a Newmont mine in Nevada has approximately 90 haul trucks. L&M Radiator engineers ran a test in that mine – basically an apple to apples comparison of the Mesabi radiator and a leading OEM radiator. This test included an analysis of specific maintenance numbers; it was determined that they spent $267,000 on the competitive radiator repairs over a 14-month period.

“The customer took that money and immediately converted to Mesabi,” Bernal added. “They haven’t looked back from that decision, and they’ve been using our Mesabi cooling systems ever since.”

Cooling System Innovation for Tomorrow’s Applications

“Autonomous is the way gold mining appears to be headed, but no matter who is — or is not — driving the equipment, it will still need a cooling system,” Bernal noted. “Even with electric and the battery applications, coolers will be needed. And, no matter what the future holds, L&M Radiator will still be innovating and providing the most reliable cooling solutions for whatever applications our customers need.”

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