The company opted to utilize trailering to get the 9.5-million-ton Liberty dragline to its new location outside of Bismarck rather than walk it there; officials told the Bismarck Tribune the decision would cut days of work down to about eight hours.

The smaller Big Sandy 736 dragline is also part of the moving project, which began February 4. The large moves had been scheduled for this week.

The eight-mile path involves 60 semi-truck loads of equipment along with an eight-man crew; 14 ironwood jacks were planned to raise the Liberty by 6 ft, allowing a remote-operated 36-axle self-driving trailer to rest underneath.

BNI is owned by Allete, which partnered with large equipment mover Mammoet for the transport.

The parent company’s CEO Al Hodnik told the Tribune that the move to its newly permitted 9,000-acre mining tract is just the beginning of its investment at Center; it plans to invest another $1 million into the mine by 2020.