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Roll out the DustBloc, says BHP Billiton
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BHP Billiton has teamed up with Queensland research and development firm, Cooee Products in a bid to save millions of litres of water daily.

The Queensland mining industry consumes 109 gigalitres of water each year, or the equivalent of about 48,000 swimming pools. The widespread uptake of this new technology could have a significant impact on state-wide water usage figures.

Surface mines generally apply up to 10 loads of water per day to haul roads to keep dust under control, with each load using around 60 kilolitres.

With a diminishing onsite water reserve, BMA’s Goonyella Riverside mine was searching for ways to improve mine roads and to reduce water usage. After three comprehensive trials of Cooee’s DustBloc, BHP Billiton found the product reduced water usage by 90 per cent, saving an impressive 3.6 million litres per day.

During the trials, DustBloc was used to treat haul roads carrying 150t trucks, which were transporting loads of up to 225t.

On the back of such positive results, BHP Billiton has recommended DustBloc be widely used across its mines, with Cooee already deployed to eight more sites.

DustBloc is a bitumen blend that, when mixed with water, forms a dust suppressant for a range of surfaces. The DustBloc blend contains Cooee’s unique FT50 additive, which enables the bitumen to easily mix with all water types (soft, hard, bore or salt).

When the water and additive evaporate, a thin coating of bitumen is left over on the surface and gradually builds up over time.

The effect is two-fold. Firstly it binds the road together (stopping dust); and secondly, when the road is broken up by traffic, the surface is heavier and less likely to become airborne.



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