Haul road management improves bottom line for miners
31/05/2010 - An Australian innovation means miners can improve haul roads and lower maintenance cost using our proven system; using less water for higher production. Mark Holding
Is your haul road an asset or liability?
Haul roads can be a high value asset for mines much the same as the machinery fleet or personnel. Competent construction and good maintenance regimes can deliver substantial savings to haul fleet operations. Inefficient roads are a huge cost burden in terms of manpower, reduced machinery life, tyre costs, excess water use, excess fuel consumption and the list goes on. But most mining operations tend to accept these sometimes hidden costs as a necessary evil in the pursuit of production.
This doesn’t have to be!
These ongoing hidden costs can be substantially reduced. With a little technical knowhow and some very simple good quality repairs to existing roads coupled with a small change to maintenance procedures these money guzzling roads can be converted into assets which will actually add positively to the overall efficiency of the mine.
The all too common scenario of over maintained, over watered undulating haul roads full of corrugations, potholes and blowouts that are dusty when dry and slippery when wet can be largely eradicated without major structural repairs or re-surfacing.
Innovative Perth based company Infra Tech Engineering have joined forces with Brisbane based SEALS Group to provide a cost effective solution to upgrading existing haul roads, producing high quality low maintenance road networks.
The collaboration offers a free consultation with the client so as to understand their particular issues and present solutions tailored to produce the best possible outcomes. Infra Tech and Seals are combining their individual areas of expertise to offer in one package the benefit of years of solid practical experience with geotechnical and civil engineering knowhow.
Their solution involves deep compaction techniques to strengthen the lower levels of the road followed by surface stabilisation.
The High Impact Energy Dynamic Compaction (HIEDYC) process delivers a deep compactive effort (up to four metres) strengthening not only the surface course but also the lower road levels. PolyCom is then applied to stabilise the surface of the wear course. Standard on site equipment is utilised for this process so that on site staff are familiarized with simple maintenance methods and also to demonstrate the usability of the finished road. The resultant running surface is smooth and hard but flexible, requires very little maintenance and is water resistant.
The efficacy of the process is verified with before and after tests. This verification involves lightweight deflectometer readings that measure strength and density improvements to the roads structure and before and after truck rolling resistance tests. Data is then tabulated with comparison graphs proving overall strength and surface improvements to the area.
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