Bucyrus-Erie Model 120-B cable shovel

Pictured here, in 1941, is a Bucyrus-Erie Model 120-B cable shovel that is loading waste-rock backfill at the Sullivan Mine in Kimberley, B.C. In operation from 1909-2001 the mine produced a staggering 26 million tonnes of lead, zinc and silver concentrate. It was one of the largest underground mines in Canada with close to 500 km of tunnels and some 40 miles of narrow and standard gauge rail were on site. At its peak production it had over 800 employees.

Bucyrus-Erie had introduced the 120-B in the mid-1920s primarily for use in quarries and open pit mines. (Note the riveted boom and dipper stick since arc welding wasn’t in use as yet) Available with steam, diesel or electric power it was equipped with a 3.2 cubic-meter (4 cu. yd.) bucket. By the early 1950s, the last of the 300-plus 120-B shovels crawled off the B-E assembly line with improvements that included larger bucket capacity. 

The bottom dump hauler of the 120-B, as seen in the photo, had been in the development stage for several years along with motor scrapers by Euclid’s Road Machinery Division. In the early 1930s Euclid engineers tested several prime mover prototypes, including gas and diesel powered units along with several hauler designs such as side-dump, rear-dump and bottom-dump. This ‘Euc’ was diesel powered and had an improved, rugged bottom dump design. Many quarries, including St. Marys Cement based in southwest Ontario, adapted side-dump haulers to feed their primary crusher. 

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic restrictions, HCEA Canada reluctantly had to cancel the annual October event, the ‘Last Blast’ for the safety of all concerned. Please check our website for updates. www. hceacanada.org 

To see more than 60 restored pieces of vintage construction equipment in action be sure to attend the Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA Canada) events: ‘Wheels & Tracks in Motion’ held in June and the ‘Last Blast’ in October when it’s safe to attend. Both events are held at the Simcoe County Museum near Barrie, Ontario. HCEA Canada is a Proud Community Heritage Partner of the Simcoe County Museum. 

By HCEA Canada