Alliance to deliver safe, productive haul roads - Quarry Magazine_ Quarry Mining and Aggregate News-1

A new alliance that aims to deliver safer, more efficient haul roads could potentially lead to increased productivity and operational savings for quarry sites.

The Haul Road Optimisation Alliance (HROA) leverages the expertise of its four founding member companies - Australian Diversified Engineering (ADE), Proof Engineers, RoadSafety Training Services and Reynolds Soil Technologies (RST) - to provide a holistic solution for mining and quarrying operators seeking to enhance their haul roads.

This includes optimising dust management using dust suppression and road stabilisation products, providing real-time monitoring, installing automated water truck spray systems, and remotely monitoring water assets.

Fiorella Ignacio, general manager of Proof Engineers, said the alliance was formed in response to demand for new ways to optimise mining operations and haul roads.

"We are collaborating to help miners meet the requirements for environmental compliance while ensuring their haul roads are as safe and productive as possible," she said.  "We have removed barriers so we can work together, which means products and processes that used to be thought of as separate issues can now be developed simultaneously as a comprehensive haul road management program to get better results than if each company was working independently. 

"We also provide training and put in place monitoring and data collections systems to ensure that operational optimisation is ongoing," Ignacio added.

Addressing overwatering

Emphasising the need for such an alliance, ADE general manager Clive Gray said recent audits of water trucks and road watering techniques at more than 30 mine sites had revealed that many water trucks were applying over 50 percent more water than necessary.

"If an operation over waters its haul roads in an attempt to battle dust, it creates the risk of an uncontrolled movement, when a vehicle is involved in a slide or rollover," he said.  "This can result in severe safety incidents as well as significantly reduce productivity on-site by leaving haul roads closed for hours or even days."

It was noted that overwatering could also significantly impact costs.  It could necessitate the importation of water from external sources at high costs, incur financial penalties due to non-compliance, or result in increased road maintenance and mobile equipment maintenance.

Through the HROA, quarry managers can now utilise RoadSafety Training Services' surface friction protocol - which determines how much water can safely be applied to a haul road and which has been endorsed by the Queensland Mines Inspectorate - in combination with ADE's ECO Spray Premium system to reduce water wastage.

Complementing these are RST's road stabilisation and dust suppressants, which help to improve water truck fleet capacity, and Proof Engineers' Proof mobile dust monitor, which provides real-time monitoring of wheel-generated dust.

"Technological advancements continue to change the way the mining industry works, and haul roads are no exception to this trend," Gray said.  "By undertaking a broad review of haul road management, mine operators can gain greater knowledge of their operations, leading to more efficient haul roads and the ability to significantly improve productivity and revolutionise their road and dust management operations."