Safety regulation, Software

How smoother mine haul roads are key to improving productivity across Australia’s mining sector

For Australian-headquartered engineering and solutions company Global Road Technology (GRT), over a decade’s worth of experience in the resources sector delivering infrastructure projects has underlined the importance of smoother mine site haul roads in improving the productivity and profitability of mining operations across the country.

Haul roads play a vital role in mining operations and well-constructed ones are a crucial factor in enabling efficient transport to and across the site as they allow the increasingly autonomous fleets of trucks the ability to operate unimpeded by dust pollution or wear and tear caused by rolling resistance – a measure of extra resistance to motion that haul trucks experience on poor quality roads.

Poor quality roads can have a measurable impact on the ability of autonomous mining vehicles to operate effectively, with their sensitive instruments impacted by dust pollution, which may impact speed, therefore slowing the delivery of goods while also impacting fuel efficiency – directly impacting site profitability.

With haul roads recently in the news with the announcement of a major miner selling a 49 per cent stake in its Western Australian private 150km long corridor for up to $1.2 billion, GRT chief executive officer Troy Adams thought it was a timely reminder to the industry of the vital role this infrastructure plays in the Australian mining industry.

“Good quality haul roads play an absolutely vital, if somewhat unsung, role in the success of Australia’s mining industry,” Adams said.

“Mining haul roads lie at the heart of a number of key industry trends as miners investigate ways lessen their carbon footprint, reduce dust pollution, conserve water and improve productivity via autonomous vehicles – helping to reduce costs.

“Developing high quality infrastructure is a critical component in all of these initiatives and GRT has spent close to 15 years perfecting products, solutions and software to provide mining companies the ability to develop cost-effective  ‘instant infrastructure’ that delivers on these aims – simply put, smooth roads equal smoother operations.”

GRT is an Queensland-headquartered international, engineering technology company that provides innovative products and solutions for the mining, civil, agricultural, resources, land development, and environmental management sectors.

It is also investing significantly in R&D (research and design), digital transformation and innovation to make it a leader in infrastructure solutions and air pollution reduction at a time when the mining industry is looking at ways it can address its environmental impact and improve productivity.

An example of this investment is the company’s latest offering, the Australian-made SMART Dosing Unit, an automated dosing system designed to enhance the effectiveness of dust suppression and water management systems on mine sites – helping to improve the quality of haul roads.

Designed and assembled by GRT’s engineers adhering to the company’s ISO 9001 certified quality management system, these Australian-manufactured SMART (Sustainable, Mining, Autonomously, Reporting, Technology) Dosing Units consist of a central control and satellite communication module utilising Internet of Things (IoT) technology to provide the ability to remotely control and automate product use.

According to Adams, the focus for GRT in 2024 is to build its worldwide reputation as the leader in infrastructure solutions for the mining sector, with products like the SMART Dosing Unit giving it the ability to support greater industry trends around autonomous technology and reducing the carbon footprint caused by mines.

“GRT is well-placed to become an Australian and worldwide industry leader in the development of infrastructure solutions particularly in the mining, agricultural, and construction sectors and as a company, we are looking forward to growing our presence over the coming year with a mission to improve mine site productivity through the delivery of quality roads, reducing dust pollution and lessening the environmental impact mining has on the planet,” he said.

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