Australian Engineers Cut Haul-Road Costs

Proof Engineers has created a haul-road development programme (HRDP) that it says will significantly reduce haul-road maintenance costs and increase production cycles at mine sites.

The Queensland, Australia-based engineering firm has projects across the globe, specialising in systems that improve production through haul-road design, construction, maintenance, dust remediation and auditing.

It said the HRDP consisted of four steps to achieve quality roads within the client's budget and equipment limitations: site evaluation and material selection; design and stabilisation; site-tailored construction; maintenance.

The first step of the HRDP is a full-site evaluation, focusing on meteorological and environmental conditions, material selection and resource evaluation, it explained. This assessment determines variables that may impact design and limit construction, such as gradient and flood zones. Material selection involves laboratory testing of resources to determine the best materials to produce cost-effective construction pavements with optimum design characteristics.  The available on-site resources are evaluated to determine if a site has adequate equipment, raw materials and local skills, identifying if outside resources, compaction aids and/or training is required.

The second step, design and stabilisation, uses pavement technologies to generate a mechanistic design taking into account the selected material and site-specific traffic conditions. Proof Engineers said its latest design technology enabled it to construct cost-effective roads with improved strength, functionality and drainage properties, taking into consideration the strengthening effects of stabilisation products such as polymer additives, hydrated lime and bitumen emulsions.

Next is tailored construction, with drainage and compaction a predominant focus.

At the end, an ongoing maintenance programme is put in place to ensure unpaved haul roads are constantly operating at a high level through the use of Proof Engineers' road-condition monitor and the training of on-site personnel in correct road maintenance methods.