By Luann Dart Note: This feature is in the Jan. TT&C 2015 issue.
Kieran Boland works on drilling rigs in the Tara Mine, and has collected the Tamrock air drill rig from the 1970s and the Atlas Copco from 2000.
Loader backhoes, Liebherr and Case are included in Kieran’s collection.
A CAT 7495 mining shovel loads a CAT 797 mining truck.
Kieran’s collection includes 70-80 farm tractors.
Kieran Boland’s job takes him deep underground, working in the mining industry as a mechanical fitter. Above ground, he has amassed an impressive collection of mining equipment models. “It got out of control and I just like collecting them now as a hobby,” he says with a laugh. With a collection of approximately 2,000 models, Kieran concentrates on 1/50 scale mining equipment and related heavy construction models.
From farm to the mine “My father used to say we were born with diesel in our blood,” says Kieran, who lives in Navan, about 25 miles northwest of Dublin, Ireland. “It’s in our family. All my brothers are into machinery. We were brought up on a farm and I suppose that’s where it comes from.” Kieran’s father, however, did not share the interest. “The odd thing is my father had no interest in machinery. He thought the horse would never die,” Kieran shares. With an interest in mechanics, Kieran started a career in the mining industry, and also owns an excavation company. His interest in mining and excavation equipment also led him to the first piece of his collection about 20 years ago, a Komatsu PC200 excavator. Then his wife, Denise, gave him a Waterloo Boy John Deere, and the collection quickly began to expand. “The mining is what I really like and I love the surface mine machines because they’re so big,” he says. Navan is home to the Tara Mine, Europe’s largest lead and zinc mine. The underground mine holds lead-zinc ore deposits starting about 50 yards below the surface. Broken ore is delivered to one of five underground crushers and reduced in size before being carried by conveyor to a storage bin at the base of the production shaft. Ore is supplied at an hourly rate of 570 tons to the surface storage building. The concentrates are shipped to smelters in Kokkola, Finland, and Odda, Norway, as well as to other smelters throughout Europe.
Want to read the rest of the story? It's available in the JANURAY TT&C 2015 magazine! Download here: JANURAY TT&C 2015