As Mark Twain once famously noted:
“Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.”
He was right about the weather – it’s a huge topic of conversation at mine sites during the wet season – however there IS something that can be done about it. It all comes down to road stabilisation and innovation.
Mining companies in India dread the monsoon season
With expensive machinery and personnel standing around idle, the downtime can quickly erode even the most successful company’s profits.
The monsoon season necessitates a mining company being as resourceful as possible – to call on all their powers of innovation to do things smarter and more cost effectively.
Often, there isn’t a lot that can be done during adverse weather conditions; poor visibility and other safety factors can naturally bring the haulage operation to a grinding halt.
However, the recovery period is a different matter.
Traditionally what happens when the torrential rains stops, the graders come out and grade the sloppy mess off the top of the haul roads in an attempt to dry them out and make them trafficable again.
The trouble with doing this is that it leads to:
- Lost production time
- Loss of the best road surface material
- Higher cost of future works (eg. pulling the material back over the road once it’s dried, clearing out drains, and replenishing lost wearing course material).
This will invariably impact a mining company’s bottom line; all of these processes take a lot of time and cost a lot of money.
Faster haul road recovery time = increased productivity
DUST-A-SIDE HINCOL has proven that stabilised roads – especially those sealed with DASProduct, a patented emulsion of bitumen in water – dry substantially faster after wet weather than unsealed roads.
The reason for this is that the surface water is shed, rather than pooling or being absorbed. Therefore, recovery time is faster and operations can get back to normal sooner.
However, dust control products such as DASProduct alone are not a magic solution.
The fundamentals of good road construction and ongoing maintenance must be incorporated. These include:
- Road camber to ensure that water is shed from the surface to the edges of the road, and
- Drainage to get the water away from the sides of the road and prevent it from soaking back into the sub layers of the pavement.
Proper haul road construction all comes as standard under DUST-A-SIDE HINCOL’s holistic haul road management service.
Waterproofing roads also helps reduce ongoing maintenance
Waterproofing roads not only leads to better productivity gains directly after wet weather, but also reduces ongoing haul road maintenance costs compared to unsealed roads, both during and after wet weather.
As a result, mines can achieve a lower cost per tonne. This is due to the reduced washout of fines and good quality wearing course material, as well as reduced ingress of water into the sub layers of the pavement.
So this monsoon season, mining operations should stop doing things the way they have always been done and consider an innovative approach to improving productivity and reducing ongoing costs.
But don’t just take our word for it; read what some of our worldwide DUST-A-SIDE customers say*:
“DUST-A-SIDE roads offer a huge benefit during heavy rainstorms as these roads stand up well to wet conditions allowing less production disruptions as a result of inclement weather.” - Head of Production, BHP Billiton Group
“After rain events, DUST-A-SIDE surfaces dry faster than untreated surfaces providing a higher level of surface friction more quickly.” - Managing Director, Road Safety Training Services
“In general, the main haul road is trafficable sooner after rain events. A 144mm rain event post DUST-A-SIDE had a 24 hour recovery versus a pre DUST-A-SIDE 150mm rain event for 80 hours recovery.” - Technical Services, Anglo American
“We can start up 20 – 60 minutes after the average rain event on DUST-A-SIDE roads with production at about 50% of capacity and 100% capacity when the non DUST-A-SIDE roads are graded or dried adequately. The recovery time difference between DUST-A-SIDE and non DUST-A-SIDE roads is around 1.3 to 1.8 hours as it takes longer for non DUST-A-SIDE roads to dry to a point where they can be graded/re-sheeted.” - Manager Mining, Anglo American
*Client names and country locations withheld to protect privacy
For more information and advice about utilising road stabilisation to increase productivity and reduce operating costs, contact DUST-A-SIDE HINCOL on +91-22-23023250 or click here to arrange a no obligation technical consultation and report today.