Why re-capping haul roads doesn’t have to be an annual expenditure

Re-capping mine haul roads DUST A SIDE HINCOL

Many mine managers consider re-capping haul roads to be an unavoidable cost, a task that has to be performed on a yearly basis. 

A lot of mines factor the cost of re-capping into their annual maintenance budgets, accepting it as a norm or an operational expense that affects the total cost of ownership of the asset.

For mines in high rainfall areas, re-capping the wearing course layer is often seen as the ‘sacrificial’ layer and must take place even more regularly.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way; re-capping does NOT have to be an annual cost.

With over 40 years’ experience at mine sites globally, DUST-A-SIDE has perfected the art and science of providing superior haul roads.

We have the technology and the expertise to produce low maintenance haul roads at the lowest possible cost.


Problems associated with constantly re-capping haul roads

Apart from the initial capital outlay, there are numerous problems associated with re-capping haul roads which includes

  • Loss of production during recapping  
  • Possible safety factors (traffic interactions, road defects resulting in compromised road riding surface)
  • Time and cost spent repairing the actual damage 

Different mines tackle these problems differently. Some take a proactive approach, opting for full replacement of the wearing course annually to prepare for the monsoon season — especially in high rainfall areas.

Others feel that a better strategy is to re-cap haul roads only after heavy rainfalls, when the road has been seriously degraded.

In both cases, it is a substantial cost to the mine to re-cap the roads. 


The ever-increasing cost of re-capping haul roads

Re-capping costs will vary depending on a number of factors. 

For example, if the wearing course must be brought in from an external source, costs can begin to mount up very rapidly.

The costs of drilling, blasting, crushing, re-handling, placing, shaping, compacting and watering this material also needs to be factored in.

Furthermore, the argument some mines put forward is that they don’t want to spend more money for re-capping material as the expectation is that sooner or later, it will be eroded and need replacement. 

This thought process means that the cycle of needing to re-capp roads will never change and mines will continue incurring high operational expenses. However, with the right approach to haul road management, there wouldn’t be any need for continued replacement.


How DUST-A-SIDE HINCOL’s haul road management program contributes to reducing haul road maintenance costs

Stabilising haul roads with DASProduct (a patented emulsified bitumen) minimises the erosion of fines and protects the underlying structural layers by providing a water impermeable seal.

Additional to the above, other benefits of stabilising haul roads with DASProduct;

  • Eliminating conventional mine site grading practices that waste good road material
  • Significantly reducing water cart and grader utilisation that deteriorate haul roads every time they spray water or grade the road.

The end result is that re-capping requirements are reduced by almost 90%, therefore eliminating the need to re-cap on an annual basis. 


Minimising re-capping of haul roads lowers on-going operational expenditure

The cost of incorporating DASProduct may well be offset by the savings achieved on re-capping. Long term savings can also be realised through:

  • Reducing the need for on-going road maintenance fleet involved in re-capping and dust suppression
  • Reduced fuel costs through improved rolling resistance
  • Improved tyre life due to better haul road conditions

Furthermore, mines can realise improved productivity through:

  • Faster recovery time after heavy rainfalls
  • Quicker cycle times through improved rolling resistance 
  • Reduced operational delays due to a dust free environment.

Finally, mines can experience enhanced safety and sustainability through:

  • Reduced dust levels
  • Reduced CO2 emissions
  • A safer working environment.

For more information and advice on haul roads re-capping, haul road management, or anything mentioned in this article, contact DUST-A-SIDE HINCOL on +91-22-23023250 or click here to arrange a no obligation technical consultation and report today.