While it did not confirm the entire price tag, Banks said it spent six figures to purchase a 254t Komatsu PC3000-6 for use at Bradley, which is located near Leadgate and Dipton in County Durham.
The excavator had previously been used at the Hinkley Point nuclear power station development site. In line with Banks' ‘development with care' approach, the unit will be powered by one V12 engine, giving it similar output to a twin-engine machine with greater fuel efficiency.
The miner has retained a local service engineer to be one-site permanently to oversee the excavator's work and maintenance.
"Giving our highly skilled teams the equipment they need to work our sites in the safest, most efficient and most environmentally responsible way possible is an essential part of our overall operational strategy," plant manager Robbie Bentham said.
"We're living up to our promise to provide local employment, contract opportunities and revenues for community improvements through the Bradley site, as well as contributing positively to the UK's balance of payments and meeting more of the UK's continuing need for coal through high-quality domestic resources."
He pointed out that, as the UK still requires coal to meet its generation, household and industrial needs, it makes national and environmental sense to continue to supply it from high-quality reserves rather than lean on imports.
The excavator purchase isn't the first for Banks; it already obtained a unit for use at sister operation Shotton.
"The Komatsu excavator based at Shotton has surpassed our expectations in terms of mechanical availability and we are seeing similarly impressive results at Bradley," he said.