Mexican Mining Industry’s Groupo Still Operating Under a Cloud after Major Spill

The spill affected seven different municipalities, turning the 420-kilometer-long waterway orange. Credit: Twitter | @betoeliasm

The spill affected seven different municipalities, turning the 420-kilometer-long waterway orange. Credit: Twitter | @betoeliasm

Since late summer, the biggest news coming out of the Mexican mining industry has been the fallout surrounding several major spills. None of them sparked as much attention as one particular spill in northern Mexico.

As we’ve already reported, a major spill from a copper mine along the United States-Mexico border in early August affected a main waterway, contaminating the water supply of hundreds of thousands of people. On August 20, it was reported that Grupo had lied regarding the nature of the spill, blaming it on heavy rainfall rather than on maintenance problems or human error:

“That was totally false,” Guerra Abud was quoted as saying, noting there were no rains on a scale that could have caused the disaster. In fact, he added, there was zero precipitation on Aug. 6, the day the spill was detected (

As of September 2, the company still had not issued an apology taking responsibility for the spill. According to Forbes, this spill could well be considered the worst ecological disaster in Mexican history, and the time had come for the company to shoulder the responsibility of cleanup.

In mid-September, at long last, Bloomberg was able to report that Groupo had at last admitted that defective pipe seals “contribued” to the spill and had agreed to provide $150 million toward cleanup of the water suplly in Sonora state. Federal officials would be sent to oversee the process. This is only fitting since “Grupo Mexico and its Buenavista del Cobre mine have put at risk human life, the environment and the region’s economic development” (Bloomberg).

It is good for the rest of the Mexican mining industry that Groupo Mexico has finally taken some responsibility for the spill and have began contributing to the clean up.  This will help everyone move on from this unfortunate accident.  We can only hope that mining firms like Groupo Mexico learn from these costly accidents and take more preventative measures to help ensure that environmental disasters like this happen a whole lot less.  As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

All questions of responsibility and blame aside, it’s good to know that northern Mexican residents will soon be able to access a clean water supply.

Remember that we carry a full stock of OTR tires for all of your mining and farming needs. Please feel free to contact us for the best deals.

Australian mining industry – China key to Australian iron ore future

Automated mine haul trucks.The Australian mining industry has seen its shares of high and lows over the past decades. According to a recent article by The Australian “China key to miners’ survival” the Australian iron ore industry is in dire straits. Larger mining firms believe they can ride out the price drop, but many smaller firms are vulnerable.

Iron ore is a major part of the Australian mining industry and as of mid-September the price of ore hit a 5-year low. Experts don’t expect these prices to stay long-term, but the factors causing this are not going to improve soon. These low prices are stripping Australian mines of nearly all their profit and leaving many vulnerable. Large scale mining companies are said to be able to fare this burden better, and many smaller firms are on the brink of closing. The lower prices mean less operating income from the mines and coupled with rising operating costs some operators are getting hit hard.

The price decreases are a combination of low-demand and more international competition which is mainly China. There is, however a silver lining as many of the newer Chinese operations are high-cost and cannot profit with prices this low. Some see this as having a detrimental effect on the Chinese mining industry that could prohibit future interest in more iron ore mines in China. At this time, experts are not sure if these high cost mines will sustain themselves at this time of low prices or falter, relieving the pressure on the Australian operations. Iron ore prices have seen price cycles similar to this in recent years just not this drastic and are expected to rebound in the incoming months. supplies mining equipment tires to many Australian mining firms.  If you need new or used OTR tires for your mining equipment in Australia, please contact us.


The Australian link above is behind a pay-wall, you can read the article at Business Spectator.

The Best Way to Keep Your Big Tires off the Black Market

Stolen big rig tiresAccording to authorities, the theft and resale of big tires has become shockingly common. So common, in fact, that truck drivers are being cautioned against leaving their rigs unattended for long periods of time lest the tires be stolen right out from underneath them.

The prevalence of theft and re-sale of big tires is partially due to the high cost of new tires and the amount that truck owner/operators can save by buying used tires instead of brand new ones:

At a truck stop in Springfield, one truck driver says tires cost around $400 to $500 a piece, but he says stolen ones go for about half that price. “It’s probably the third or fourth highest cost as an owner operator that you are going to have.” (ABC)

Owners of mining equipment, eighteen wheelers, tractor trailers, rigid haul trucks, and so forth are encouraged to protect their investments. Since the majority of these vehicles cannot be pulled into the family garage at night for safekeeping, other measures must be taken.

The Best Way to Keep Your Big Tires off the Black Market: Consider Installing Anti-theft Devices.

Special nuts and bolts, as well as other wheel-lock systems, can go a long way toward ensuring that your tires stay where you need them to stay. Although you will pay some money for their acquisition and installation, these tools should rightly be considered an investment in protecting your tires, which — of course — represent a much higher expense.

Considering how quickly thieves are able to steal tires, we can’t think of a better way to protect them from theft short of simply never leaving your rig unattended ever again.

Remember that we carry a full complement of earthmover tires for all of your heavy equipment needs. Feel free to contact us for the best deals.


Image credit: Arlington Cardinal

Equipment Spotlight: Sandvik DD531 Three Boom Underground Drill Rig

Sandvik DD531 underground three boom hydraulic drill rigOne of the more exciting pieces of equipment to come down the pipeline lately is certainly the Sandvik DD531 Three Boom Underground Drill Rig. Known in its last incarnation as the “Tamrock Axera 8,” this high-performance jumbo rig boasts some exciting features, including the following:

  • Three-boom construction.
  • Highly developed ergonomics and safety features.
  • Superior drilling speed delivered by high frequency rock drills.
  • 75 kW hydraulic power packs.
  • Sophisticated and accurate electric drilling controls.
  • Easy access to all service points.

Part of the “Mining Jumbo” family (one of the six product families at Sandvik), the DD531 works together with other products to ensure that “highly productive, extremely reliable, and economical” systems are available to meet the needs of mining operations across the country.

Further Specs:

  • Boom: SB60
  • Feed: TF500, 10-16ft
  • Rock Drill: RD525, 25kW
  • Hole Diameter: 43-64mm
  • Hole Length: Up to 4660mm
  • Control System: TPC561
  • Cornering: 4610mm

Capable of handling cross sections of 12-75 square meters, this 33,000 kg machine boasts a state-of-the-art cabin providing both noise and vibration insulation for any operator lucky enough to find himself at the helm.

According to information provided by Sandvik, “The advanced, electronic controlled drilling system with added automatic functions and different operational instrumentation levels enable productive and high quality tunneling” while the “built in diagnostics help to minimize maintenance time.” Although the DD531 is only one machine in the Sandvik family, its exciting design and capabilities make it worthy of our attention.

Remember that we carry a full array of OTR tires for all of your mining and farming needs. Please feel free to contact us for the best deals.

Big Tires, Big Problems

There’s no doubt that big tires have their advantages. They make mining possible, help haul heavy loads cross-country, and participate in countless other human endeavors that help to make our lives easier and more enjoyable. It is true, however, that they occasionally cause problems as well.

One of these downsides is the danger of fire. Although fire might not be the most obvious or even the most common danger of big tires, it certainly is a relevant one. Just ask the residents of Omaha, Nebraska, and Tecate, California, both of whom recently had their own run-ins with big tire fires.

tire-fireFirst, over forty firemen from Omaha spent several hours battling a tire fire in the northern part of the city. The intensity of the blaze, the proximity to power lines, and their awareness of toxic fumes were all concerns for fire fighters as they worked to extinguish the fire.

Second, the collision of two big rigs carrying tires near the California-Mexico border had residents of Tecate, California, smelling smoke. Fortunately, the fire departments from both countries were on the ball:

A number of people called to report explosions, which were caused by the tires in the trucks. Cal Fire crews responded, as did firefighters from Tecate, on the Mexican side of the border (UT San Diego).

They were able to work together to put on the blaze in good time, ensuring that the nearby residents were safe not only from the spreading fire but also from the toxic fumes of burning rubber.

As purveyors of big tires, we’re sensitive to the safety issues involved. Be sure to store and dispose of your big tires in appropriate manners in order to mitigate the chances of fire.

We carry a full stock of OTR tires for all of your big-rig needs. Feel free to contact us for the best deals.


Image credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on Flickr

Changes to the Brazilian Mining Industry Causing Confusion

Presidential Standard of Brazil

Presidential Standard of Brazil

The wheels of government seem to turn slowly in almost every country, but some would say that Brazil’s takes the cake. After changes to Brazilian mining industry codes were first announced in 2009, some companies delayed the start of projects, others rushed to lock in projects before the codes changed, while other companies decided to avoid working in the country completely until the dust settled (Reuters). After all, they thought it wise to wait and see how the economic landscape would be affected by the proposed changes before making commitments.

Now, five years later, amid talk of further delay, comes the news that the new protocols may be ditched entirely, making room for fresh concerns to rise to the surface of an already boiling stew of confusion:

It is not just lack of progress that has caused concern. A number of experts have issues with the code itself, saying it would kill exploration by squeezing out smaller players who often drive the discovery of new deposits (Daily Times).

Such uncertainty no doubt causes frustration to companies which are seeking to diversify, grow, and change with the times–difficult to accomplish when it is not entirely certain what changes are in the wind, or, indeed, if changes are in the wind at all.

Although the Brazilian mining industry is not the only sector of the global economy finding itself caught in a net of governmental drama, it is certainly a situation to watch. Perhaps we may be able to glean helpful insights from watching the way in which it all plays out.

Remember that we carry a full complement of OTR tires for all of your mining needs, whether you are in Brazil, elsewhere in South America or anywhere else in the world.  If you need mining equipment tires, we can got them and can get them to your site fast. Feel free to contact us with questions or comments or to ask about this week’s deals.


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Go Big or Go Home: Front End Loaders and the Ice Bucket Challenge

Kootenai Electric ALS Ice Bucket ChallengeIf your social media feeds are anything like ours, then at the end of the summer, you found yours filling up with videos of your friends, family members, and even celebrities participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge to fund ALS research.

As with all internet hijinks gone viral, what began as a simple video to record an event morphed into over-the-top productions including dance numbers, talking animals, lip syncing grandmas, and other shock-and-awe tactics guaranteed to keep us all entertained (and mildly horrified) for hours on end.

The way we see it, it was only a matter of time before someone got the front end loaders involved.

Sure enough, employees from the Kootenai Electric Cooperative in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, “pitched the plastic buckets” and rolled in three front end loaders, standing in a little huddle and allowing the icy waters to cascade down on them like the waters of Niagara.

This is one of those rare instances of front end loaders participating in the genuine doing of good deeds, and for that we feel that these three front end loaders in particular should be recognized. As has been previously noted several times on our blog, front end loaders are often considered the “black sheep” of the heavy machinery family, and as such, they’re often seen bashing into the sides of buildings, being used as getaway vehicles for bank robbers, and other such shenanigans. That’s why whenever we see a front end loader swimming against the tide, we like to commend them for their ability to rise above.

Have you seen any other Ice Bucket Challenge videos using front end loaders or other pieces of heavy equipment?  Share them with us in the comments.

Remember that we carry a full complement of OTR tires for all of your heavy equipment needs. Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments or to ask about this week’s deals.


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Toxic Spills a Black Mark against the Mexican Mining Industry

Over the years, the Mexican mining industry has had its ups and downs, but environmental issues continue to plague industry leaders. The most recent concerns have arisen over what seem to be frequent reports of toxic leaks and spills polluting the country’s waterways.

Sonora river

Sonora river, Mexico

According to German reports via Deutsche Welle, Mexico’s National Water Commission has been monitoring chemicals in the Sonora River since heavy rains in early August.

Mexican media said 10 million gallons of wastewater had turned the 420-kilometer-long waterway orange, affecting 800,000 people… Mexico’s environmental agency, PROFEPA, blamed the company Buenavista del Cobre and ordered the neutralization of toxins, construction of dams to prevent further incidents, and an analysis of the water’s contamination level, among other measures (Deutsche Welle).

With the site of the spill just twenty-five miles south of Mexico’s border with the United States, this situation has concerned parties on both sides of the border watching closely.

Meanwhile, Grupo Mexico, the largest mining corporation in Mexico, has been held responsible for an acid spill that has left thousands of local residents without drinking water. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, early in August, around 40,000 cubic meters of copper sulfate acid solution spilled into the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers from Grupo Mexico’s Buenavista mine. Federal Government protection agencies within Mexico are now filing charges against Grupo which could amount to 43 million Mexican Pesos (approximately $3.3 USD at the time of this writing).

In all, August was not a good month for the Mexican mining industry’s international image. But this is more than an image problem. In their efforts to boost the national economy through growth in the mining sector, Mexican mines must endeavor to minimize negative environmental impact.

Remember that we carry a full stock of OTR tires for all of your mining equipment needs.  We supply tires to mines through Mexico and Central America.  Feel free to contact us for the best deals.


Image credit: Lon&Queta on Flickr

OTR Tire Deals for September 9, 2014

We have the following OTR tires priced to move.  Check them out below and then call to get your tires before someone else does!

8 – 20.5R25 Michelin XMINE D2* L5
$3,250 USD each

4 – 26.5R25 Michelin XLDD2* L5
$5,300 USD each

4 – 29.5R25 Michelin XLDD2* L5
$7,500.00 each

15 – 29.5R25 Yokohama RT41** E4
$4,900 USD each

2 – 35/65×33 Titan LD250 42 ply L5
$7,500 USD each  

2 – 24.00R35 Titan DTH4 E4**
$4,200 USD each

12 – 27.00R49 Goodyear RL4H 4SL
$8,900 USD each

16 – 3300R51 Belshina 162 FOB Europe
$9,200.00 USD each


Don’t forget to sign up for our OTR tire deals email newsletter to get these hot deals delivered to your inbox.  We always give our deals newsletter subscribers first dibs on these deals before posting them on the blog so don’t miss out on being the first to know.

    You can select both.

When Big Tires Aren’t Big Enough

Over the course of our blog’s history, we’ve brought you plenty of posts about genuinely big machinery requiring genuinely big tires. But what happens when big tires aren’t big enough?

Take, for example, the NASA Crawler, a gloriously hulking brute of a machine used to transport Space Launch Systems and other spacecraft from their preparation bays to NASA’s launch sites.

NASA crawler space shuttle and rocket transporter

According to NASA’s Crawler Fact Sheet, this beast measures 131×114 feet, reaching a maximum height of 26 feet. Its overall weight (sans cargo) amounts to a whopping 6.2 million pounds, with the chassis alone weighing just over 2 million pounds by themselves. Loaded, the Crawler pokes along at 1mph; unloaded, however, it reaches top speeds of 2mph. It should be noted that when bearing both a Mobile Launch Platform and a Space Shuttle, these behemoths can bear a payload of 12.6 million pounds.

Before you’re too impressed, though, it should be mentioned that the fuel efficiency could be improved. Currently these machines only get 32 feet per gallon. But with such a payload, this is only to be expected.

With such a payload, it’s also no surprise that the tires have not yet been invented that can bear this sort of burden. Instead, the Crawler (as intimated by its name) runs on a set of eight tracks, each with 57 heavy-duty shoes, each shoe weighting upwards of 2,000 pounds each!

Only in our wildest dreams can we envision the tires worthy to carry such cargo. Maybe one day, if we are very lucky, we will all live to see them.

It should be noted that even without big tires, the NASA Crawlers are still worth seeing. Any lover of heavy machinery would find a trip to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, worth his while if just for the chance to get up close and personal with these Goliaths.

For more information on our stock of OTR tires, please feel free to contact us.


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