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Caterpillar to cut niche mining production lines

Caterpillar will cut track drill production and set out plans to sell off its underground mining division

Caterpillar will cease production of its track drills, including the MD5150C (pictured above).
Caterpillar will cease production of its track drills, including the MD5150C (pictured above).

Caterpillar has announced its intention to cease production of its track drills.

The US-headquartered equipment manufacturer also plans to sell of its 'room and pillar' division, which produces niche mining machines for underground applications.

The track drill closure will eliminate 200 jobs across two facilities as the group continues to weather what one senior executive described as “the longest down-cycle [in mining] in our history". The future of the firm's ‘room and pillar’ facilities may also be in doubt if no buyer is found.

Caterpillar has already stopped taking new orders for both product categories, though the manufacturer was quick to reassure customers that its dealers would continue to support track drills and room and pillar machines already in the field.

Under Caterpillar’s ongoing cost-reduction programme, the company hopes to save $1.5bn during the coming years. The strategy will involve the reduction of thousands of jobs from its global workforce, and the closing and consolidation of up to 20 facilities.

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Construction Week - Issue 741
May 11, 2019