Re­duc­ing the cost of haul road own­er­ship

The Australian Mining Review - - HAUL & MINE ROAD MANAGEMENT -

HAUL roads can feel like a bot­tom­less pit of ex­pen­di­ture for min­ers.

The trou­ble with haul roads is that most mines see them as only tem­po­rary, or at best semi-per­ma­nent, so roads are of­ten built in a hurry, with min­i­mal ex­per­tise, and a lot of short­cuts taken to bring them into bud­get.

As many mines have ex­pe­ri­enced first­hand, a poorly de­signed road will ul­ti­mately lead to pre­ma­ture fail­ure, re­sult­ing in ex­or­bi­tant main­te­nance and op­er­a­tional costs.

Fur­ther­more, when build­ing or re­pair­ing roads, the im­pact of short-term de­ci­sions upon the long-term op­er­at­ing costs are of­ten rarely cap­tured or un­der­stood.

As Aus­tralia’s lead­ing provider of haul road man­age­ment so­lu­tions, Dust-A-Side pro­vides a unique, turnkey so­lu­tion for haul road man­age­ment.

Dust-A-Side Aus­tralia gen­eral man­ager Neil Hoskin be­lieved many mines have not yet grasped the im­por­tance of im­ple­ment­ing an in­te­grated so­lu­tion for man­ag­ing haul roads.

“Think of a haul road as a liv­ing thing. Op­er­at­ing con­di­tions can change from day to day,” Mr Hoskin said.

“Haul roads re­quire a holis­tic ap­proach to man­age­ment and main­te­nance. There is no one-size-fits-all so­lu­tion. If you do not do things cor­rectly, then your op­er­at­ing costs are go­ing to soar and your pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els are go­ing to plum­met.”

To help mine op­er­a­tors max­imise the long term value of haul roads, Dust-A-Side has de­vel­oped a rev­o­lu­tion­ary haul road con­di­tion mon­i­tor­ing and re­port­ing soft­ware sys­tem called DASMet­rics.

DASMet­rics has been de­vel­oped in con­junc­tion with in­dus­try-lead­ing ex­perts who spe­cialise in en­hanc­ing mine pro­duc­tiv­ity.

It in­cor­po­rates a sci­en­tific au­dit­ing process de­signed to en­sure the con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment of haul road qual­ity as well as re­duce the cost of road own­er­ship.

Us­ing state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy, the sys­tem re­motely mon­i­tors, cap­tures and re­ports on de­fects found on haul roads.

The sys­tem is cus­tomised for each mine site and pro­vides a real time web based dash­board which al­lows users ac­cess to haul road con­di­tions and re­port­ing data at the push of a but­ton.

The re­port shows a clear pic­ture of the state of ev­ery haul road through­out a mine site. Man­age­ment can then use the sys­tem to as­sign re­pair tasks to work­ers.

The real power of DASMet­rics is de­rived from the al­go­rithms built into the sys­tem that quan­tify the true value of the haul road con­di­tions ob­served.

By re­port­ing upon the real im­pact that haul roads in poor con­di­tion are hav­ing upon the likes of fuel, tyres and pro­duc­tiv­ity, it means that mines are able to make more in­formed de­ci­sions about how best to en­hance their op­er­a­tion.

Mr Hoskin said DASMet­rics ac­tively al­lows mines to achieve long-term haul road op­ti­mi­sa­tion.

“By us­ing the sys­tem to make in­cre­men­tal im­prove­ments, haul road con­di­tions are more ef­fi­ciently main­tained,” he said.

“Th­ese con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ments lead to the likes of faster haul road cy­cle times, re­duced wa­ter and fuel con­sump­tion, im­proved ve­hi­cle com­po­nent life and re­duced main­te­nance costs.

“It also means that we can bench­mark haul road con­di­tions on any mine site against global best prac­tice.”

Dust-A-Side’s DASMet­rics haul road con­di­tion mon­i­tor­ing and re­port­ing soft­ware sys­tem.

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