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Liebherr R 9800 in action at night
Noise Reduction

Minetek's Sound Suppression Solution for Bengalla Mining Company


In the heart of the Hunter Valley’s mining landscape, Bengalla Mining Company is distinguished by its commitment to operational excellence and strong ties with the local community of Muswellbrook. To boost productivity, Bengalla selected the powerful and efficient Liebherr R 9800 Excavator. Recognising the importance of effective noise management to comply with strict environmental regulations and minimise community impact, Liebherr, with Bengalla’s approval, engaged Minetek to design and install a turn-key sound suppression kit for the Liebherr R 9800. 


About Bengalla Mining Company 


Bengalla Mining Company operates a single-pit open-cut mine 4km southwest of Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia. For over 25 years, Bengalla has demonstrated industry leadership through careful planning and execution. Operating 24/7, the mine utilises a robust combination of draglines, trucks, and excavators in its mining operations. This methodical approach allows for efficient coal extraction and processing. 

Muswellbrook, a community of approximately 12,000 residents, thrives in close proximity to Bengalla’s operations, with 21.6% of its population employed in the coal mining sector. Bengalla’s strong ties to Muswellbrook are evident in its commitment to local employment, aiming to hire at least 80% of its workforce from the local area. 


Liebherr R 9800 in action


Choosing the Liebherr R 9800


As Bengalla’s operations expand westward, the mine faces an increasing strip ratio, requiring the removal of more dirt for every tonne of coal extracted. To address this challenge, Bengalla sought an additional 800-tonne excavator to enhance its stripping capabilities. 

After thorough research and rigorous evaluation, Bengalla decided on the Liebherr R 9800, one of the largest OEM mining excavators globally. Weighing 800 tonnes, this excavator is designed for large-scale mining operations and performs exceptionally well on diverse terrains. Equipped with two V16 cylinders, each with a displacement of 537 cubic metres, and a massive bucket wheel spanning 22 metres in diameter. 



Minetek’s Partnership with Bengalla Mining Company


Given its proximity to Muswellbrook and stringent noise regulations, Bengalla Mining Company prioritises effective noise management across its operations. Every piece of machinery on-site is equipped to meet specific noise levels, ensuring compliance with environmental standards and minimising community impact. 

Bengalla’s proactive approach includes advanced live monitoring and rigorous sound testing protocols, reflecting their commitment to responsible mining practices and a strong relationship with the local community. 

When integrating the Liebherr R 9800 into its fleet, Bengalla recognised the necessity of sound suppression to meet the site’s rigorous noise requirements. Aware of Minetek’s established reputation and relationship with Liebherr, Bengalla thoroughly evaluated Minetek’s solutions, reviewing past projects and consulting industry peers. 

Impressed by Minetek’s proven track record and integrated solutions, Bengalla was confident that Minetek’s sound suppression kit would ensure the Liebherr R 9800 operated within noise limits without compromising performance or maintenance accessibility. This led Bengalla to approve Liebherr’s engagement with Minetek to design and install a turn-key sound suppression kit for Bengalla’s Liebherr R 9800. 



Minetek’s Expertise in Sound Suppression


Minetek’s extensive experience in the Hunter Valley mining industry and longstanding collaboration with Liebherr positioned them to provide an advanced sound suppression solution for Bengalla Mining Company’s Liebherr R 9800. 

Each Sound Suppression Kit designed by Minetek is customised to meet the specific operational demands and environmental constraints of the site. This bespoke approach ensures stringent compliance with noise reduction targets and minimal impact on machine performance and productivity. 

Minetek’s design philosophy focuses on optimising airflow and weight reduction, critical for maintaining machine efficiency and productivity. Additionally, Minetek’s innovative Dual Skin Exhaust Systems effectively manage exhaust temperatures below 150°C without requiring thermal blankets, significantly reducing operational expenses. 

Accessibility is a key component of Minetek’s engineering principles. Minetek kits are designed with sufficient openings, doors, and easy-to-remove panels to ensure straightforward maintenance and servicing, minimising downtime and operational disruptions. 





The sound suppression kit installed on the Liebherr R 9800 at Bengalla successfully reduced the machine’s overall noise by more than a third, achieving sound levels well below the site’s target and exceeding the expectations of Liebherr and Bengalla. This improvement has allowed the machine to operate closer to the mine boundary, enhancing productivity. 

By addressing problematic frequencies and noise sources that could impact the Muswellbrook community, the risk of noise disruptions has been effectively mitigated. 

This collaboration between Bengalla Mining Company, Liebherr, and Minetek demonstrates their commitment to innovation, sustainability, and social responsibility. Together, they ensured that Bengalla met stringent regulatory standards, minimised community impact, and improved operational efficiency. 

 To learn more about the project and see Bengalla’s Liebherr R 9800 in action, download the full case study and watch the project video below.


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