Advanced road stabilising technologies developed by Reynolds Soil Technologies (RST Solutions) were used at Thunderbird Mineral Sands mine to assist in constructing 34km of high per- forming roads that withstand the extreme heat and humidity of the Kimberly Region in Western Australia.
Another major challenge RST Solutions overcame with its advanced polymer soil stabilisers was crushed road base over pindan subgrade layer, known for being soft and moisture sensitive with high potential for collapse.
Temperatures rising to 50 degrees at the mine site and red Pindan soils cause major issues for haul roads that need to be in excellent condition to support road trains carting high volumes of mined product from the site 24/7.
RST Solutions advanced technologies, soil stabiliser Titan and dust suppressant Guardian, were utilised by the mine’s developer Kimberly Mineral Sands (KMS) to build a 30km haul road and 4km of roads servicing the mine, saving the company significant resources in the process.
Titan, designed to achieve greater levels of compaction in the subbase layer (road base material) layers of roads and other infrastructure, was applied to the base course layer to form high quality roads in a third of the time and a fraction of the cost. Advanced dust suppressant Guardian was added to the top layer for greater dust and erosion control and further stabilise the road.
Instead of deteriorating over time or washing away, Titan and Guardian work down through the road’s surface layers when it rains, tightening up road structure through particle slippage and aggregation to lower roll resistance and improve road quality, in turn reducing road maintenance and road recovery time.
Dosage levels used were tailored by RST Solutions for ultimate compatibility to the Thunderbird site, to increase thickness and flexibility and improve the CBR.
KMS Senior Project Engineer Claudio Marone said a new approach for building roads at the mine needed to be taken due to the unique conditions.
“The common method of sealing the roads is with a chipseal bitumen that would have bubbled and peeled off in the intense heat, leaving sharper, harder holes requiring specialise contractors to repair,” Mr Marone said.
“We needed to take a new approach to road building and the benefits of using RST Solutions’ products have been outstanding. We saved millions of dollars and now have flexible, weather resistant roads with sufficient dust control.
“Titan enabled our team to carry out all the earthworks and finish off the roads without having to bring in a specialised team and their machinery to lay the chipseal. The ongoing maintenance for us now is less risky, more cost effective and a lot easier to carry out with the equipment we already have on site.
“We initially went with RST Solutions because of their success with similar projects and the wealth of knowledge and experience they have from working in this field for 30 years. They really know what they are doing.”
RST Solutions is an Australian business operating internationally. For more information, contact (+61 7) 5522 0244 or visit www.rstsolutions.com.au.