What is your ‘graveyard gear’ truly worth?

As the old adage goes, ‘one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure’ – a truth often seen in ‘graveyard sales’. At a recent mine site clearance auction in the Bowen Basin, Hassalls auctioned old surplus that mine staff thought was basically scrap worth $150,000, which in fact raised $650,000 on the day.

As large-scale projects continue to transition out of the construction phase, a large amount of second-hand equipment is sitting dormant in ‘hidey holes’ across Australian mines. With coal commodity prices on the rise, maximising return from used assets is not front-of-mind for miners in Queensland, but there are significant operational benefits to selling excess gear often overlooked. As Queensland heads into its next phase of productivity, there are some key factors mine site owners and managers should be considering to raise the bottom line.

Demand is back

Efficiency and ‘cost out’ have been buzzwords across the mining industry post-boom, as miners are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to improve their cost of production and increase productivity on their sites. This means non-critical well used machinery has often been left on-site, with managers not giving them much more thought than their value as a parts source to maintain newer, functional assets. At the same time, demand for heavy earthmoving machinery (HME) components and parts has dramatically increased with contractors looking to service and beef up their well-worn fleets so they can bid for the range of projects that have come on the market. With asset values up and buyer interest peaking, identifying sellable equipment can not only increase a mine’s bottom line, but can also clear valuable yard space better utilised for maintenance so mine managers can get more gear back at work in their pits.

Dispersal strategies

Clearing yard space is all well and good, but how much is your ‘bucket-of-bolts’ going to bring back? As with any sector, certain assets sell strong dependent on seasonal and market conditions, which is why it’s important to engage an external asset specialist who can advise on best practice and determine a suitable dispersal strategy for your circumstance. Smaller gear including D6 – D8 dozers, graders, scrapers, light trucks and vehicles are all in demand through auction, whereas larger heavy earthmoving equipment typically sells better online or through private treaty. Identifying the best way to dispose of unneeded gear is crucial to generate maximum return.

As we head into the next 12 months, assets such as Caterpillar D6, D7, D8, D10T and D11T Bulldozers, Caterpillar 793D and F Dump Trucks, Scrapers, Graders, as well as any gear used in the agriculture sector is selling strongly.

In light of current market conditions, mine owners and managers across Queensland have a ripe opportunity to market under-utilised, redundant or surplus assets and increase efficiency across their projects. It’s important for mine & maintenance managers to engage an expert to unlock the potential value graveyard assets could achieve when marketed effectively.