Vermeer Corp and subsidiary Vermeer Western Australia and Northern Territory have announced that Fortescue Metals Group has agreed to purchase 14 Vermeer Terrain Leveler surface excavation machines (SEMs) to be used at its iron ore mining operations in Western Australia. “This order comes after significant investment in product development by Vermeer, as well as commitment by the local dealer to support the operations,” said Mark Cooper, Senior Director for Specialty Excavation with Vermeer. “Having a respected industry leader like Fortescue embrace the technology further validates its place in the market.”The Vermeer surface excavation machines allow mines to utilise precision surface mining, meaning mine operators can selectively extract mineral seams in surface mining applications. Operators can also control material sizing by producing small-sized material in a uniform configuration so minerals can be handled more efficiently than product resulting from drilling and blasting. The uniform product size allows more efficient settings on secondary and tertiary crushing systems; savings that can continue well past the primary crushing stage. Order delivery is scheduled to begin in December 2011 and additional machines will ship through September of 2012.