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Why the selection of conveyor components and products can make all the difference

NO PROBLEM WITH THE HAUL ROAD CURVE A curved rail running conveyor may provide an alternative to load and haul vehicles






MAY 2020

MOBILE SOLUTION FOR QUARRIES, CONTRACTORS OEM launches suite of mobile crushers and screens to the Australian market


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FEATURES 22 PROS AND CONS OF LONG DISTANCE CONVEYING Conveyors have long been touted as an alternative to earthmoving vehicles - but what are the real benefits?

26 STACKER PROMISES PEAK PERFORMANCE A US-based aggregates producer has reached new heights - with the aid of a radial stockpiling conveyor.



DYNAMIC ENGINEERING Why the selection of conveyor components and products can make all the difference.


RAIL RUN CONVEYORS A curved rail running conveyor may provide an alternative to load and haul vehicles.

How Komatsu wheel loaders fitted with third party scales are now consistently achieving high levels of accuracy.

32 SENSOR TECH KEEPS QUARRIES ON COURSE A suite of 3D smart sensor technology offers more visibility for drivers in the quarrying environment.

33 MEASURING TECH HELPS OPTIMISE CRUSHING CIRCUIT How radar technology is being employed to successfully measure material in an OEM’s crushing plant.



MOBILE PORTFOLIO OEM Metso has launched a suite of mobile solutions for the Australian market.

MAY 2020


NO PROBLEM WITH THE HAUL ROAD CURVE A curved rail running conveyor may provide an alternative to load and haul vehicles





Why the selection of conveyor components and products can make all the difference

COVID-19 TIPS, ADVICE How quarrying companies can still thrive in this healthconscious environment.

38 WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE WORLD STOPS? What should businesses do to right their course and prepare for a future beyond COVID-19?

MAY 2020




An Australian manufacturer of high tensile steel plate credits its success to the benefits of local knowledge.

MOBILE SOLUTION FOR QUARRIES, CONTRACTORS OEM launches suite of mobile crushers and screens to the Australian market

COVER ADVERTISER: The new Metso Nordtrack range consists of 19 mobile machines designed to meet the requirements of aggregates producers and contractors. Turn to page 28 or visit: metso.com or tuttbryant.com.au/tbe






Visiting Australia’s oldest parliamentary member


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ur world has changed dramatically in the past two months – in when, where and how far we can travel, how we work and interact with one other, and in our public conduct. The coronavirus (COVID-19) has upturned the way society operates – and it circles back to health and safety, a familiar topic for the quarrying sector. Regardless of what we all may think of the lockdown, the precautions imposed on us appear to be working. Australians have observed the social distancing rules and slowed the national rate of the infection (approaching 7000 in mid-April). The question now is how long before Stage 3 restrictions are relaxed and we can return to a semblance of normality. The Federal and State Governments’ stimulus packages are helping to continue construction activity but once funding runs dry (possibly by September), the sector may feel COVID19’s financial “bite”. So how can quarries shore up their operations in uncertain times? Suppliers (eg Trimble, page 36) offer some welcome advice and the state and territory bodies have also provided guidance about COVID-19 management plans. Indeed, large and medium-sized quarries may already be ahead of the health and hygiene curve. In my experience, quarries were practising safe hygiene before the crisis began; hand sanitisation and protective personal equipment (PPE), including filtered masks, are standard in larger quarrying operations. While there have been misunderstandings in the recent past about the appropriate use of PPE (eg workers’ proximity to heavy dust emissions), most quarries’ safety cultures cannot be faulted. Many go the “extra mile” and invest in technologies and innovations to safeguard workers (eg proximity sensors on vehicles and conveyors) and minimise exposure to toxins (eg foam suppressants or sprays to lower dust emissions, or modern engines to reduce on-site pollution).

Larger quarries (if required) ought to be well equipped to formulate COVID-19 strategies for their sites. That said, the IQA has developed fact sheets on its website – quarry.com.au – for all operations that are uncertain about compliance with COVID-19 advice. Quarries have also been urged not to let concerns about COVID-19 obscure the overall safety picture. As Queensland’s Mine Safety and Health Commissioner Kate du Preez recently wrote in a circular to her state’s resources sector:

… while we have to do our part to combat this new public health hazard, we can’t forget that our identified existing hazards continue to be the main risk of serious accidents and incidents, and we must ensure we continue to implement appropriate safety measures. As an industry, we can’t lose sight of our ongoing need to better understand why safety incidents are happening. Our safety journey must continue, even through this difficult time. Du Preez expressed her confidence that “our industry has the … skills, competencies and capabilities … to meet this challenge with co-operation, collaboration and care”. While it’s not a cry for “business as usual”, the industry should take pride that it is better positioned than other industries to combat the virus. Perhaps years of vigorous OHS regulations have served quarrying well in mitigating this watershed. It’s up to industry members to continue to promote safety throughout their operations and be vigilant in fulfilling their duty of care. This will ensure the industry is protected and remains valued at this crucial time and in the months to come.

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Quarry May 2020





Superior Industries designs and builds a diverse group of bulk processing and handling solutions from Rock Face to Load OutŽ. Crushing, screening, washing and conveying equipment, plus all wears and spares, industry-leading warranty protection and world-class customer service. We’re ready to help lower your cost per tonne!






hen writing my last report in early March, I thought about talking about the potential impacts from COVID-19 that might be ahead of us. Australian infection case numbers were relatively low at the time but the projections, given what was happening in China, were stark. The Federal Government and the National Cabinet had to take action and it’s from their decisive and responsible leadership that I write this report, with great hope for the future.

to turn these new opportunities into reality. The energy and determination of everyone involved has been inspiring, although not unexpected.

Due to this unprecedented world event, our lives may have changed forever. However, as bad as it has been, we have to look for the good. We need to be decisive about the changes in our lives and to ensure the lessons learnt are permanently etched in our minds, and in the minds of our children and their children, so that we never let this happen again.

We have had to take decisive action to protect our members from COVID-19 through the cancellation of all face to face education and networking events until 31 July, 2020. We are watching developments closely and we will respond swiftly if the situation changes. However, we are not idle and Kylie and her team are working hard to develop new, relevant online education opportunities, including providing fact sheets on pertinent subjects that we face today on the IQA website (quarry.com.au).

The IQA Board met on 25 February to review the strategic plan and considered closely the current and future risks and opportunities. The details of the plan are being finalised and it takes into consideration the impacts and opportunities of recent events. We look forward to communicating the plan to all branches, members and the industry in the near future. While the potential impacts from COVID-19 were emerging at the time of the strategic planning, our focus was to address the decline in the IQA’s traditional sources of revenue and the need for alternate sustainable sources, in addition to doing everything possible to protect the current financial position. We identified numerous opportunities to add to the successful initiatives of recent years, such as the IQA’s Women in Quarrying program. Our CEO Kylie Fahey and her team are working closely with the IQA Board


Quarry May 2020

We agreed we have to transform into a modern, relevant, and progressive organisation while strongly connecting with our proud history and achievements. We need to adapt, be agile, be purposeful and work together with IQA branches, members and the industry to ensure the transformation is completed as planned.

We are also working closely with the Institute of Quarrying New Zealand (NZ). Hopefully we will be helping IQ members in NZ with additional online education. In turn, our friends across the ditch will help us with their educational offerings. Thanks to our members and the industry for your continued support as the Institute transforms and grows. On behalf of the IQA Board and management, I wish good health and better times ahead for everyone. SHANE BRADDY President Institute of Quarrying Australia

Educating and connecting our extractive industry


The Institute of Quarrying Australia’s goals are: 1. To provide world class professional development for the extractive industries. 2. To establish an Australasian Academy of Quarrying. 3. To align service offerings with industry needs.

IQA CONTACTS: Chief Executive Officer Kylie Fahey PO Box 1779 Milton BC QLD 4064 Phone: 0477 444 328 ceo@quarry.com.au Company Secretary Rod Lester Phone: 0408 121 788 rgl@rlester.com.au Finance Officer Gemma Thursfield Phone: 0402 431 090 gemma@quarry.com.au General, membership and financial inquiries should be directed to admin@quarry.com.au or phone 02 9484 0577.



Prime Minister Scott Morrison believes an influx of new cash grants and the JobKeeper payment will give businesses an opportunity to stay in operation during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Federal Government has provided assistance packages for Australian businesses and employees to soften the blows of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and recent natural disasters on the economy. A combination of business cash payments, apprentice wage subsidies and an expansion to the instant asset write-off program, which covers vehicles, tools and industrial equipment, aims to encourage businesses to spend and fend off a potential recession. A second $66 billion stimulus package in March provided up to $100,000 in cash payments for small

and medium sized businesses bearing the brunt of the economic knockdowns from COVID-19. Many small and medium sized quarries may be granted higher cash grants than the first stimulus package, with payments previously ranging from $2000 to $25,000. The stimulus was designed to stabilise employment and allow small businesses to stay afloat during the economy’s decline. The Morrison Government has also announced a financial rescue plan for Australia’s workforce during the coronavirus, providing six million workers with a fortnightly wage subsidy of $1500 per person.

The $130 billion JobKeeper payment plan package is expected to allow Australians to hold onto their jobs as many businesses suffer from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $1500 payment accounts for 70 per cent of the country’s national median wage and will be provided to employees for a maximum of six months. This is available for any eligible Australian business affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the plan, quarrying and construction companies could be eligible. To qualify, a small or medium business with an annual turnover of less than $1 billion must prove it has incurred a reduction in revenue of 30 per cent or more since 1 March. Employers will receive the funds and pay any employee that was on their records from as far back as 1 March, 2020. Larger businesses with turnovers of greater than $50 billion must prove they have incurred reductions in revenue of 50 per cent or more relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month). Both full-time and part-time employees of those businesses, including those that were stood down in March, are eligible for the payment. Businesses can apply for the payment online via the Australian Taxation Office’s website: ato.gov.au •

QUARRY CEMENTS PARTNERSHIP WITH TRUCK ARRIVAL Holcim’s Sunrock Quarry has celebrated a 25-year partnership with Komatsu Australia, with a ceremony marking the arrival of a new dump truck. The quarry received a new HD3256A from Komatsu, signifying a 25-year relationship between the two companies. The quarry’s original Komatsu rigid truck has logged 47,000 hours and will remain operational within the Sunrock Quarry site. “It will see out its days as a back-up truck – perhaps another 25 years?” said Sunrock’s quarry manager Martin Halliday. The two people present at the original truck’s handover – Sunrock’s production


Quarry May 2020

manager Phil Woodward and Komatsu’s Sunshine Coast customer support sales representative Darren Fraser – have stayed in touch and were both present at the latest delivery of the new truck. “The technology in these trucks has changed quite a lot, as you can imagine,” Woodward said. Sunrock quarry provides roadbase products, aggregates and specialised rock in high volumes for the construction industry. Darren Fraser said the long-term relationship with Sunrock Quarry is a significant achievement.

Holcim and Komatsu representatives at the handover of the new Komatsu HD325-6A dump truck at Holcim Sunrock Quarry.

“It’s been a very long-standing relationship, and you don’t often get the same people at a delivery 25 years apart, so it’s quite significant that it happened,” he said. •










BORAL TO REFRESH WEST GOSFORD PLANT WITH $2.4M UPGRADE Boral Resources has awarded $2.4 million towards the rejuvenation of the company’s West Gosford concrete batching plant site in New South Wales. Used as a concrete batching plant for almost 50 years, the West Gosford site has not received alterations or additions since 1994. The existing plant will be completely overhauled, with four silos being replaced and a new batching plant support structure to be constructed. “Boral thanks the Central Coast Council for approving the upgrade of our West Gosford facility which has been contributing to growth and development across the region for a substantial period of time,” said a Boral spokesperson. “Once implemented, the upgrade will allow us to more reliably and efficiently service both our public and private customers from this central and accessible location.” The existing site office and amenities building will be knocked down with a portable building unit replacing it. An extra two open material storage bins will be installed along the site’s northern perimeter, with the storage shed also being relocated to the centre of the site. •


The Institute of Quarrying Australia (IQA) and Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA) have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing advice about where the industry sits going forward.


“To support Australian and global strategies aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, the IQA Board has [postponed] all IQA face to face events scheduled up to and including 31st July, 2020,” IQA CEO Kylie Fahey said. “The IQA will continue to respond to any new directions by authorities regarding ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”


Under current federal and state government legislation, the construction industry is considered an “essential” business. However, bans to domestic and international travel have caused rescheduling of events.

There have been fears the industry could face a government-enforced shutdown in the future. CCAA’s chief executive officer Ken Slattery told Quarry the construction industry can continue operations if government allows it to and the correct safety guidelines are followed. “Governments need to consider the implications of not having a construction industry working at a high level,” he said. “The construction industry employs 1.1 million people throughout the country and all construction projects rely on quarry products, concrete and cement. So if we’re not [operating, that’s] a million people that [cannot] work. “The economic implications of that are significant. Almost 10 per cent of economic activity is related to construction. It’s vital for the health of the economy that people be allowed to stay at work and to allow support packages like we have recently seen from government to be funded.”

Boral’s West Gosford site has been used as a concrete batching plant for almost 50 years. Image courtesy of Boral.


Quarry May 2020

New guidelines on the CCAA website (ccaa.com.au) provide information on practices the heavy construction materials industry should adopt during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes a reduction of site visits, creating a 1.5m distance between each workstation, allocating one operator for all plant and equipment

IQA CEO Kylie Fahey has announced that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IQA Board has elected to postpone all face to face meetings until August.

operations and extra sanitisation among others. “The document describes the interface between the industry and its customers as well as some internal protocols [to] minimise any risk of transmission,” Slattery said. “The guideline has been published to support the health and safety of employees and customers but also to support our objective of having the construction industry and its supply chains continue to be recognised as essential industries. “So while we are protecting our people, the industry certainly is capable of continuing with good practices, so we urge everyone in the industry to consider the guidelines.” The IQA and the CCAA have also postponed the next joint Construction Materials Industry Conference (CMIC20) which was scheduled for September 2020 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. “In reaching this decision, the organising committee were mindful of the importance of keeping our industry’s employees safe,” Slattery said. “The uncertainty over how long government rules limiting large gatherings and events such as this has also contributed to the decision. “Originally planned to be held in September 2020, the event will be rescheduled to a time when we are more certain that the high standards that people have come to expect of CMIC conferences can be assured.” •



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CONSTRUCTION INDEX PLUMMETS TO LOWEST FIGURES SINCE 2013 The joint Australian Industry Group/ Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index has sunk to its lowest monthly result since May 2013. Alarm bells are ringing for Australia’s construction industry after the Australian PCI crashed to 37.9 points in March. This marked a 4.8 point drop from February’s already diminishing levels. Ai Group’s head of policy Peter Burn said trends in the decline of commercial, engineering and apartment activity has harmed the sector’s performance, especially due to the impact of COVID-19. “There was wide reporting of weaker demand conditions during the month,” he said. “Construction businesses linked this to economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic which had dampened client confidence, increased risk aversion and lowered investment demand. “In terms of the outlook, conditions look more fragile than they have for some time with new orders dropping sharply into negative territory with particular weakness in the pipelines of new work in the commercial and apartment sectors on a nationwide basis.” The index results for March mark the Australian PCI’s 19th consecutive month of shrinkage. Construction activity was down six points to 39.1, while new orders also continued to decline with steeper rates than February (down 10.3 points to 35.4). •


Adelaide’s newly-opened Northern Connector motorway is predicted to boost the economy by providing improved traffic conditions for freight and commuters. With a speed limit of 110 kilometres per hour, the Northern Connector will deliver a vital link for motorists between the Northern Expressway, South Road Superway and Port River Expressway. The $867 million project created 480 jobs during each year of construction, with South Australians performing 90 per cent of all the on-site labour hours. South Australian Premier Steven Marshall predicted the new motorway will create more jobs by allowing freight to avoid traffic congestion. “The opening of the Northern Connector will reduce travel times for South Australians and interstate and international visitors who want to visit our beautiful regions like the Barossa, Riverland, Yorke Peninsula, Mid North and beyond,” Marshall said. High quality concrete pavement was used to reduce ongoing maintenance costs despite having a slightly higher initial cost to asphalt pavement.


Quarry May 2020

Concrete roads also increase driver visibility at night and will provide the same ride quality as asphalt roads. Asphalt roads reflect limited light back to the driver from vehicle headlights; a concrete road, on the other hand, increases night visibility because it reflects light in all directions. To mitigate the higher glare potential in day visibility, a low noise diamond grooving concrete was used in the road surface. The six-lane motorway is expected to save an average of 10 minutes for motorists end to end. The project received $694 million from the Australian Government and $173 million from the South Australian Government. •

VICTORIA TO RAMP UP RECYCLED AGGREGATE USAGE The Victorian Government’s Recycled First program is set to change the building aggregate landscape by making contractors use recycled materials. Under the new program, recycled aggregates such as glass, crushed concrete and steel will be used over brand new materials.

Recycled First requires companies undertaking major transport infrastructure projects to demonstrate how they will prioritise recycled and reused materials. Victoria’s construction partners have already started adopting recycled building materials for their projects. Home building activity recorded its fourth consecutive month of growth in March.

The Southern Interchange/Salisbury Highway off-ramp on the new Northern Connector.

The Victorian Government expects lower infrastructure costs in the longterm with the utilisation of recycled

aggregate over new materials. More than 20,000 tonnes of recycled material will be supplied to the M80 Ring Road, Monash Freeway and South Gippsland Highway. A further 190 million glass bottles will be supplied to surfaces on the $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade. “We’re paving a greener future for Victoria’s infrastructure, turning waste into vital materials for our huge transport agenda,” the Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said. “Recycled First will boost the demand for reused materials right across our construction sector – driving innovation in sustainable materials and changing the way we think about waste products.” •



Montabert and the Montabert logo are registered trademarks of Montabert S.A.S. in the United States and various countries around the world, and is part of Komatsu Mining Corp. since 2017.


AMERICAN CITY BUILDS ROADS FROM RECYCLED DUNNIES Recycled toilets have been flushing away the costs of new roads in Colorado Springs for the past eight years, with the porcelain material being reused as an aggregate for road base. Aggregates from old toilets are being recycled into new roads for Colorado Springs, USA. Colorado Springs Utilities has repurposed almost 50,000 toilets into road base since 2012. Porcelain from the toilets is crushed down into aggregate that supplements the gravel that is laid down before the roads are paved. Colorado Springs Utilities operations supervisor Sean Evans told Gazette.com the material is considered to be one of the best recycled aggregates, compared to recycled concrete and asphalt. “It’s got great compaction qualities as a recycled product,” Evans said. Despite an estimated 1.27 million kilograms of toilet porcelain salvaged, it only represented a small amount of the aggregates used by Colorado Springs annually. Residents are being encouraged to drop off porcelain products, such as sinks and toilets, to the county’s hazardous waste facility. “We want the community to know they can change out those high use water fixtures and not have to worry,” Evans said. “Bring that toilet to us and we’ll put it back into the infrastructure.” •


CONEXPO-CON/AGG celebrated a record-breaking 2020 show in Las Vegas – despite shutting a day early. The 2020 show, scheduled from 10 to 14 March, attracted more than 130,000 registered attendees, after losing a day due to coronavirus concerns. The show enabled more than 2300 exhibitors to show off their latest machines and technology for the construction and aggregates sectors. Despite global fears over COVID-19, less than one per cent of international attendees cancelled. According to CONEXPO-CON/ AGG 2020 chairperson Mary Erholtz, the expo had one of its best years to date. “This has been one of the best editions – ever,” she said. “We refer to CONEXPO-CON/AGG as the ‘heavy metal’ show, but it’s more than that. It’s also small equipment, education and technology. And this was reflected in every way this week.” Overall contractor and producer attendance increased by 14 per cent, compared to the 2017 show. Attendees bought a further 75,622 tickets for the show’s education

Quarry May 2020

“Tuesday [10 March] for us was record-breaking in terms of sales leads and attendance at our booth, which is how we measure how successful the show is for us,” Doosan Bobcat president Mike Ballweber said. With the show attracting a flurry of buyers, it is estimated six out of every seven CONEXPO attendees served in a decision-making or purchasing role. CONEXPO runs every three years. The next show is scheduled for 14 to 18 March, 2023 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. •

Remnants of an ancient continent that stretched across Europe and broke apart 150 million years ago have been unearthed under Canada’s Baffin Island.

The fragments are part of the North Atlantic Craton, which stretched across part of Europe. A craton is a stable part of the Earth’s crust which has kept its shape over a long period of time.


sessions, marking a 46 per cent increase from the previous show.


University of British Columbia (UBC) geologists stumbled upon fragments of the prehistoric continent that spanned from Scotland to Greenland when they were exploring diamond deposits in Canada’s Nunavut territory.

Colorado Springs Utilities is helping transform toilets into recycled construction materials for roads. Image courtesy of Gazette.com

Despite the threat of COVID-19, more than 130,000 attendees and 2300 exhibitors flocked to CONEXPO in Las Vegas.

The discovery was entirely unrelated to what the UBC researchers were looking for: million-year-old rock samples of kimberlite that are up to

Pieces of an ancient continent have been found underneath Baffin Island, Canada.

400km underground. Kimberlites are eventually pushed up to the surface and sometimes contain diamonds. UBC geologist May Kopylova said in a statement that finding “these ‘lost’ pieces is like finding a missing piece of a puzzle. The scientific puzzle of the ancient Earth can’t be complete without all of the pieces”. •


To submit new product and equipment releases, email: damian.christie@primecreative.com.au

Q-SERIES MOTOR BASE The Australian-produced Leverlink Q-Series motor bases are engineered for a range of quarrying applications, including screens and feeders. Providing a cost-effective alternative to similar products, Leverlink motor bases extend vee-belt and pulley life and minimise energy required for the supporting structure using the company’s “stored energy” engineering technology. The Q-Series range features five stock line models along with custom designs for specific quarrying applications.

For more information: Leverlink, leverlink.com.au

STAINLESS STEEL WIRE SCREENS Hong Hui’s high tensile stainless steel wire screens are available in slabs, pre-hooked formats and screen rolls to the quarrying, mining and recycling sectors. With a warehouse located in Victoria, the screens are available to local clients and customers with urgent requirements. Screen apertures range from 3.15mm to 100mm. For the convenience of customers, Hong Hui screens are available to order online.

For more information: Hong Hui JV, hhjv.myshopify.com

PU AND CERAMIC MODULAR DESIGNS Kinder’s K-Redi-Liner is available in polyurethane and ceramic variants and is suitable for conveyor transfer points, high wear chutes, screen discharge, feed liners, hoppers and loading areas. The polyurethane version of the K-Redi Liner is fire retardant, fire resistant and antistatic formulated. The ceramic option uses alumina ceramic beads embedded in its polyurethane. Both models are lightweight and include a modular design with a bolt system for better fitment. The K-Redi Liner is available in 25mm, 38mm, 50mm and 63mm thicknesses.

For more information: Kinder Australia, kinder.com.au

HTI IMPACT CRUSHER SERIES HAZEMAG’s HTI impact crusher series offers the convenience of a modular system that includes easily replaceable and interchangeable wear plates, thus reducing storage space and costs. The impact crusher has a key transfer system to prevent unauthorised access to the crusher during operation. Fabricated in Germany, the machine has been made with high quality craftsmanship in mind. HAZEMAG offers installation, repair, modification and assembly of the impact crusher, along with an after-sales inspection.

For more information: HAZEMAG, http://hazemag.com/en/homepage/

Quarry May 2020 15


DYNAMIC ENGINEERING GEARED AT PRODUCTIVITY, SAFETY For many quarrying – and indeed materials handling – operations, conveyors are vital to the efficient and timely delivery of aggregates. As Neil Kinder and Cameron Portelli explain, the right selection of conveyor components and products can make all the difference for profitability and productivity.


n many industrialised nations, the mining and resources sector boom fuelled by investments from governments and private companies into major roads and infrastructure works can have a positive economic flow-on effect for various industrial sectors. Profitability is often viewed as one of the primary drivers for these initial and continued project investments. This itself can potentially lead to the inherent problems of cost-cutting and the planning/utilisation of lower cost inferior plant and equipment equivalents at implementation stages. Today’s bulk materials handling operators and processing plants are under pressure to maximise profitability and meet continuous productivity targets. Likewise, and quite often, mechanical conveyor problems can start off very minor and, without proper diagnosis and resolution, potentially result in serious OHS hazards and conveyor structural compromises. The problems of wasted product, noise, material spillage and environmental dust disturbances quickly become familiar on-site realities. For many materials handling operations, the conveyor system is central to its long-term profitability and viability. Increasing demands for mining, aggregates and other resources 16

Quarry May 2020

lies heavily on the effective and continuous conveying of bulk materials products at each stage of the industrial process. Without this in place, productivity becomes compromised, resulting in frequent, unplanned and often costly downtime. Most operators can relate to the past experiences of productivity downtime and unscheduled maintenance. With the benefit of hindsight these on-site productivity, efficiency and safety issues can be eliminated or at best minimised through the sourcing and utilisation of engineered and high performance conveyor plant and equipment and correctly optimised engineered planning and design.

BUYER BEWARE Today’s global economy means when sourcing conveyor plant and equipment, operators are spoilt for choice – there is a vast array of conveyor component suppliers and access to highly engineered and latest innovative solutions to advance end to end handling processes. For most operators, price alone is often the motivator for purchase. However, buyer beware, lower price products are more often “copycat” and “knock-offs”, offering low par standards and functionality benefits to the original product.

The reality of inferior, lower price copycats is the untold costly, irreversible damage these products can have to the conveyor structure, to conveyor belts and the unscheduled maintenance and productivity downtime to replace these inferior products – only to be discovered shortly after the installation hurdle. When considering cost-cutting on a corporate level, many plant and equipment suppliers are also challenged by the dilemmas of large corporate purchasing department heads who are ignorant to the engineering differences between genuine and counterfeit products. They quite often make their purchasing decisions based solely on price, often at the expense of quality. The issues of cheaper “knock-offs” and counterfeiting continue to dominate today’s fashion, electrical and other consumer goods. Further, the rise of “copycat” products have found their way to industrial conveyor components, eg bearings, rollers, anti-wear liners and skirting materials just to name few.

TRUSTED QUALITY Take a closer look – just because it looks the same doesn’t mean it is exactly the same. Lower cost polyurethane skirting and antiwear lining products, on the surface, may

Australia’s leading designer and manufacturer of rubber torsion spring motor bases. look and feel the same as the genuine engineered polyurethane skirting. However, conduct a quick internet search and you’ll soon realise there are countless suppliers using sub-standard/cheaper manufacturing practices to design, manufacture and market far inferior polyurethane products and conveyor components and pass them off as high quality engineered equivalents. When considering these conveyor components are vital to the smooth and continuous materials handling operation of the conveyor system, the use of non-genuine engineered conveyor components can lead to frequent production stoppages, belt wear damage, other unpleasant material spillage and safety hazards. Neil Kinder, the CEO of Kinder Australia describes International Standard ISO 9001 certification as “the mark of quality in our industry”. “These International Standards provide assurance and commitment to our diverse customer base, and that Kinder provides highly customer-focused bulk materials handling products and solutions that are safe, reliable and of high quality standard. “Kinder Australia partners with an independent laboratory to facilitate and conduct ASTM D 4060 quality testing and certification of competitive lower cost conveyor components,” Kinder said. “Kinder is delighted to report, based on the Taber Test by an independent testing laboratory Excel Plas, the test conclusions confirmed that its K-Superskirt engineered polyurethane abrades less by comparison to the competitor’s polyurethane and is therefore four times more durable than the competitor’s polyurethane tested. For decades, the readily identifiable Superskirt engineered polyurethane has been successfully and effectively installed in a multitude of applications, including the harshest mining environments, delivering significant cost and labour savings to operators globally.”

VENDOR CREDIBILITY, STABILITY Counterfeiting issues require a concerted effort from industry players to become more vigilant, identifying and reporting any unfair counterfeiting activity. These efforts will only help to tackle this growing problem and create a fair and level playing field for all participants. As an organisation there are many tactics you can be conscious of and implement. For example, consider disengagement with suppliers that participate in any type of counterfeiting/unfair activity. “As an organisation, Kinder Australia has thoroughly investigated the labour practices of our company, and those of the direct suppliers to

Motorbase - Crushers

Motorbase - Screens, Feeders

Motorbase - Pumps

Chain & Belt Tensioners

Kinder’s mechanical engineering team conducts on-site evaluations.





Tests confirmed that the K-Superskirt engineered polyurethane abrades less by comparison to most polyurethanes and is therefore four times more durable.

our company, to ensure there is no slavery or forced labour used anywhere by the company or by any of the direct suppliers to the company,” Kinder said. A proven track record in vendor reliability and credibility in the industry, not just the product, is equally as important. When looking at commencing a supply relationship, it would pay to select a vendor not only based on similar/favourable trading terms and conditions but on the merits of improving operational productivity and capitalising on the vendor’s experience and process efficiencies. “When dealing with Kinder Australia, our customer base receives a wealth of support on-site, access to comprehensive installation, maintenance and operation documentation,” Kinder explained. Conveyor engineering design, when demystified, focuses on providing solutions to customers’ issues around three key areas: productivity, safety and cost reduction. Materials handling operators are constantly challenged by increasing production outputs and cost reduction targets. A key engineering consideration is also ensuring the recommended solution is fit for purpose and practical from a cost, installation and maintenance perspective. “The issue of poor belt life is often encountered during on-site evaluations,” Kinder’s senior mechanical engineer Cameron Portelli said. “It’s one of the top conveyor problems seen by our mechanical and field applications engineers. Conveyor belt support systems are designed to protect this expensive and important asset. At the critical conveyor transfer points, having the full force of the impact absorbed rather than resisted means the impact load zone belt support system below the belt is taking the hit, rather than the conveyor belt. This effectively improves and extends the wear life of all conveyor components such as the belt, idlers and structure life and makes for a quieter 18

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transfer in serious applications.” Kinder’s K-Dynamic impact idler/cradle systems target conveyor transfers, where the action is, as Portelli explained, as “burden is being accelerated due to fall and changes in direction from one system to the next which prevents steady state flow and requires additional thought into supporting the belt to improve the life of the belt and transfer components. It would be wise to start from the problem at hand and work backwards to isolate the root cause. This may involve chute design improvements before any transfer chute sealing options should be considered,” he added. Another regular occurrence encountered on-site are grooves on the top cover created by product getting under hard and soft skirts, particularly at the transfer point. This problem can often be solved through the installation of a combination conveyor skirting and sealing and conveyor belt support system, which can also effectively eliminate dust and material spillage and create work environments that are productive, clean and safe.

PREDICTION, DESIGN SOFTWARE SOLIDWORKS Simulation Finite Element Analysis, an upgrade to the basic software licence, is often used to more accurately predict and design innovative solutions that mimic real world applications and scenarios. With this powerful information, industry lead mechanical engineers have the necessary tools to analyse results, plan and expertly optimise future designs, geared at maximising productivity improvements and efficiency gains. When planning, designing and recommending first class solutions, safety is also an integral part in delivering operational productivity and efficiency. Engineers are ethically and legally responsible for the solutions they recommend and implement. In some cases, if all reasonable risks are not

considered, the risk of legal action against the company and the individual could have massive financial ramifications, along with the ongoing damage to the brand and stance in the industry. For conveyor component suppliers such as Kinder Australia, “all our new and innovative designs are stringently risk assessed for hazards at the critical installation, operational and maintenance stages,” Portelli explained. “Through the effective use of SOLIDWORKS, simulation finite element analysis tools can potentially reduce any ongoing risks by analysing the specific areas where a design can be better improved.” Portelli elaborated on the use of SOLIDWORKS. “This software can also assist clients to see the overall bigger picture as well as take into consideration future installation and maintenance issues. Although SOLIDWORKS doesn’t produce all scenarios, it can be a beneficial tool for starting a conversation with clients, as it mostly centres around how the solution will function after installation and its serviceability. Simulation finite element analysis is more commonly used in situations where the impact loading is of key concern to ensure the structure size is suitably sized.” In recent years, Kinder Australia has made significant investments in engineering design through the expansion of its mechanical engineering team to three staff. The engineering team’s capabilities extend to high proficiency in Helix Conveyor Design and AutoCAD. For the company’s customer base and other materials handling operators, this translates to having an engineering service and extensive technical skills set at one’s fingertips. Helix software provides very detailed and comprehensive reports that tell the system designer all the specifications related to the system. Information extracted from Helix can be useful in making decisions on the following: • Drive power requirements. • Belt tensions and a suitably specified belt. • Specifications for suitably sized idler rolls. • Take-up dimensions and gravity take-up weight requirements. • Specifications for suitable gearboxes. • Data for designing pulleys that can also be conducted to meet standards AS1403 (shafts) and limiting stresses in the shells. Helix software is commonly used by mechanical engineers when designing full-scale conveyor component projects and troubleshooting existing problems on site. For engineers, the use of Helix software provides

assurances the drive is available under all conditions (start, stop, blocked chute, etc) and the trough will not overfill. There are many ways to spec a system, but the basic two parameters are belt width and belt speed. Increasing one to decrease the other has benefits in some situations but a happy medium is usually found between capital costs and ongoing costs. “For the past 30 years,” Neil Kinder concluded, “the driver for the business has been the resolution and advancement of our customers’ end to end handling processes, harnessing our engineering expertise and keeping abreast of innovative and emerging industry technologies. “By developing a connection with our diverse customer base who have differing application needs and expectations through on-site visits, our highly technical mechanical engineering and field applications team become better at solving our customers’ problems and measuring up the solutions. “Regular visits to global strategic

A close-up of the K-Dynamic conveyor belt support system.

manufacturing partners to devise win-win solutions has seen the business realise better manufacturing lead times and costs. We’ve also enjoyed strategic alliances with local and international suppliers to gain access to high quality, reliable and performing solutions across three key product areas – belt conveyor components, materials flow, and safety and environmental.” For more than 30 years Kinder Australia has earned a reputation for being a leading edge, global independent supplier and manufacturer of innovative and practical solutions to improve and maintain the running efficiency

High wear, high impact, abrasion-resistant steel for the mining, quarrying and construction industries. Market-leading steel specialist and trusted partner for over 40 years.

of conveyor and bulk materials handling equipment, particularly in the quarrying industry. With a purpose-built 3000m2 warehouse and head office facility in Melbourne’s southeast, the company is home to more than 8000 conveyor hardware components and accessories. In early 2019, the company announced an international footprint expansion into the Asia-Pacific region through a new international website: kinderapac.com • Source: Kinder Australia



Larger quarries are increasingly looking for economical solutions to transporting aggregates from the face to the crushing circuit. A proposed curved rail running conveyor may yet provide an alternative to conventional transport by dump trucks and off-road vehicles.


nnovative operators in the quarrying business are constantly adapting to overcome the lean operating margins and environmental constraints at their sites. Now a new conveying technology from thyssenkrupp and the University of Newcastle relieves familiar challenges faced by larger quarry operations, including: • Costly truck haulage from the face to the plant, especially where there is substantial elevation change. • Concerns about diesel and dust emissions. • Fugitive dust from conveyor transfer points. • Mine layouts that are awkward or unfeasible for conventional trough conveyors. This new belt conveying technology allows a conveyor to run in a single flight from pit to plant along the curve of the haul road, hairpins excepted. For many pit layouts where the haul road curve radii can be configured to about 100m or greater, mines will be able to run haul trucks adjacent to the conveying corridor, allowing for the flexibility of truck haulage alongside the extremely low cost per tonne of belt conveying. The payback time for replacing the truck haulage by the curved conveyor can be less than a year in some cases, according to estimates by thyssenkrupp. Those estimates include the operating cost of feeding the conveyor from a mobile primary crusher sizing down to perhaps minus 200mm.

RAIL RUNNING CONVEYOR This new type of curved conveyor is a “pipe conveyor” version of the “Rail Running Conveyor” (or RRC) technology now being commercialised in Australia under an exclusive agreement between thyssenkrupp and the University of Newcastle. The product is part of a new “platform technology” that combines the efficiency of rail transport with the continuous nature of belt conveying, and 20

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A concept image of the thyssenkrupp/University of Newcastle Rail Running Conveyor.

promises a “revolution” in overland, steep angle and pipe conveying, according to Luke Bennett, the national sales manager for strategic accounts at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions Australia. The pipe conveyor version of the system is now ready to be deployed in a pilot installation at a quarry, ideally carrying the full output from a large tracked jaw crusher for a distance of up to one kilometre or through an elevation change of 50m to 100m. For this technology, testing and analysis point to: • Capital expenditure (CAPEX) being about the same as a conventional trough conveyor of similar length, lift and tonnage, and less than half of that for a conventional pipe conveyor in the same duty. • Power consumption being about 40 per cent lower than a conventional pipe conveyor, even though most of the power requirement for the example above is needed for lifting the rock. • Lower maintenance costs, because the transport mode eliminates almost all of the maintenance effort associated with the

idlers, belt tracking and carry-back. For some mine layouts, a planner might be considering costly trough conveyors on an elevated structure, such as that visible in the Google Earth image of a haulage route in a large limestone quarry (Figure 1). Due to the Rail Running Conveyor’s ability to negotiate very tight curves, the material could be carried by either trough or pipe RRC versions along the haul road, on a path indicated by the blue line. Even though the length of the RRC is greater than the direct, elevated route, the CAPEX cost per metre as well as the much lower maintenance intensity makes the curved RRC the lowest cost choice by far. The RRC technology has been carefully developed over nearly a decade by TUNRA Bulk Solids at the University of Newcastle, and is covered by a number of international patents. Contemporaneously, thyssenkrupp’s heavy duty conveyor group created designs based on similar principles, and now the University of Newcastle and thyssenkrupp are collaborating to bring this product family to the industrial minerals industry. To put this technology in context, it is

worth remembering that conventional belt conveyors are constrained by well known inherent limitations, including: • Intermediate transfer points, with their high maintenance requirements, which are often unavoidable because of limited horizontal and vertical curvability. Rail running pipe conveyors can curve much more tightly than conventional pipe conveyors, allowing transfer points to be eliminated in many cases. • Idler rolls that are subject to multiple modes of failure all along the length of the conveyor. The failing idlers must be detected and replaced wherever they happen to be. Conventional pipe conveyors typically have more than twice as many idler rolls as a trough conveyor, increasing the idler-related maintenance demands. • Energy loss that is caused by the belt/ idler interaction which consumes as much as 50 per cent of the power, even in plantscale pipe conveyors. • Belt speed that is limited by several factors related to the fixed idlers, which drives up belt width and strength requirements. “The Rail Running Conveyor system overcomes these limitations, allowing breakthrough performance improvements in each of these areas,” Martin Lurie, thyssenkrupp’s product lifecycle manager for rail running conveyors, said.

BENEFITS OF CARTAGE Operators of large quarries are intimately familiar with the two core technologies that make up RRCs, namely belt conveyors and rail haulage. In RRCs, conventional fixed idlers carry a standard belt in the usual configuration near the head and tail of the conveyor, and the belt itself still carries all the tension. But between the head and tail, the belt rests securely in the cradles of slim, wheeled carts rolling on light rails. In the trough version of a RRC, the loading point is exactly the same as in a conventional trough conveyor. The loaded belt travels a short distance from the load point by rolling on conventional idlers. Then the wheeled carts glide upwards on their rails to take over the load from the fixed idlers. Similarly - for the pipe belt version - the loading point and pipe formation is the same as a conventional pipe conveyor. For a short distance, the pipe belt moves through conventional pipe conveyor idler panels. Then the carts move up to take over from the fixed idlers. To keep

Figure 1. A Google Earth image of a haul road in a large limestone quarry. Material could be carried by either trough or pipe RRC versions along the haul road, on a path indicated by the blue line.

the belt closed in its pipe form, the cradle of each cart has a circular bottom, and every two metres there is a fixed idler that presses down on the belt edge to keep the pipe closed, mounted in a frame above the carts. Before reaching the head or tail, the cart train turns around independently of the belt, and a light wire rope keeps the carts moving through the turnaround. Automated inspection devices continuously monitor the condition of wheels and bearings at these turnaround locations, where deteriorating bearings or wheels can easily be exchanged. As with conventional rail systems, derailment is a possibility, but carts can be designed to be both resistant to and tolerant of derailments. Low cost automated derailment detection will allow the conveyor to be stopped should a derailment occur. The very low losses in the RRC systems arise from the highly efficient wheel-on-rail interface. For context, rolling resistance in a haul truck is typically in the two to three per cent range. The measured rolling resistance for RRCs of about 0.4 per cent of the moving weight is comparable to that of light rail transport. This low level of rolling resistance contrasts to the best in class trough conveyors which are typically designed to handle rolling resistances about three times higher – at perhaps 1.2 per cent of the moving weight (DIN f of 0.012) – or to more typical trough conveyors designed to overcome rolling resistances five times higher – at about two (2.0) per cent of the moving weight. Conventional pipe conveyors have still much higher losses than conventional trough conveyors, with those conventional pipe conveyors operating in very cold conditions designed for rolling resistances of

perhaps 4.5 per cent, or 10 times higher than a RRC. An added feature of RRCs is that frictional losses don’t increase in cold operating conditions. This new low resistance paradigm translates directly into substantial CAPEX and operational expenditure (OPEX) savings. The CAPEX savings are due mainly to cost reductions for belt, drives and erection. For example, elevated gantries do not require walkways for idler maintenance, which allows enormous reductions in structural weight. The OPEX benefits come from lower power consumption, smaller maintenance crews, and lower costs from idler monitoring and replacement. thyssenkrupp’s offices around the world have recently begun exploring suitable trial installations for the trough overland version of the RRC, with notable interest from major Australian mining companies. Now, Australian innovation and tax incentives may be available to industrial minerals and aggregates companies that partner with thyssenkrupp to build a pilot-scale system for demonstrating the pipe version of the RRC technology. •

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Martin S Lurie is the product lifecycle manager for rail running conveyors for thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (USA). Luke Bennett is the national sales manager for strategic accounts at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (Australia). Prof Craig A Wheeler is based in the School of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales. Quarry May 2020 21



EQUATE TO LONG-TERM SAVINGS BENEFITS? Conveyors have long been touted as an alternative to earthmoving vehicles for the cartage of aggregates on-site, particularly over long distances. However, what really are the pros and cons of long distance conveyors – in terms of finance, safety and the environment – and is bigger necessarily better?


he landscape of the world continues to change in many different facets in the aggregate and mining industries. Aggregate reserves are becoming rare commodities in many areas, transportation issues are priorities because of rising costs and residents’ concerns, and industry requirements for specialised products are all factors in the discussion surrounding this transformation. These factors continue to drive the need for change in the way that aggregates are transported, not only from the source of the aggregate and/or the production area but also from the production site to the area of further processing or end use. The decision to move product from the aggregate reserve to the crusher or to the area of stockpiling by truck or by conveyor is made because of a number of inputs that are analysed: • Cost benefit. • Product quality. • Topography. • Environmental issues. Improvements in conveyor mobility, function, design, and flexibility, as well as escalating costs for operating haul trucks show the decision to use conveyors much more cost-effective.

COST BENEFIT The main benefits of using conveyors instead of haul trucks are as follows: • Decreased operating expense. • Limited inflationary effect. • Improved product quality. • Continuous flow. • Environmental friendliness. • The flexibility of design for conveyor systems. Conveyors are beneficial not only in overland applications of short, medium, or longer length, but also in radial stacking or telescoping stockpiling applications where


Quarry May 2020

An example of a 60m-long overland conveyor.

trucks have been traditionally used. The maintenance costs of conveyors are considered less as more downtime is required to keep trucks and loaders running efficiently. In addition, most conveyor replacement parts are available locally. Conveyor systems are also less labourintensive as trucks or loaders require one or sometimes two operators. Conveyors can also operate at maximum efficiency every hour of operation. This can decrease workforce and training requirements (see Table 1.) While the big advantage of the haul truck continues to be its flexibility, even bigger disadvantages are increased fuel prices, increased labour costs to operate, maintenance costs, and the shortage of parts such as tyres, with lead times of more than six months being reported (see Figure 1 on page 24). Overland conveyors offer cost-effective

material transport and a wide spectrum of capacities that can vary from a trickle of material all the way up to 30,000 tonnes per hour. Furthermore, with a lifespan of more than 20 years, the benefits of their high capacity and low cost operation are realised long after the initial truck fleet is retired. As an example, a Texas-based mining operation has reported that its three kilometre-long conveyor has eliminated more than 140,000 truck trips and more than 917,000 vehicle kilometres on an annual basis. Added to the fuel savings, this operation is significantly reducing costs associated with labour, workers’ compensation costs, safety training, emissions, maintenance, and engine depreciation. The above costs, and cycle time considerations when truck hauling in urban traffic congestion, were also factors in an Atlanta Airport project where an eight

TABLE 1. OPERATING COSTS Equipment kilometre-long overland conveyor was chosen as the method to transport 30.5 million cubic metres of fill material from several nearby quarries to the construction site of a fifth runway. This overland conveyor also allowed the proper blending of crushed rock and overburden material in desired percentages as it was fed onto the belt. A limited inflationary effect is achieved because rising fuel and energy prices have little effect on the operating costs of conveyors, and are not sensitive to fuel shortages. Electricity costs are fairly stable compared to diesel prices and conveyors can be run at off-peak energy times. Improved product quality is seen because conveyors eliminate multiple handlings of material, which prevents compaction and contamination typically caused by trucks and/ or loaders. Telescoping conveyors eliminate segregation and material degradation. Continuous flow is another advantage realised because conveyors are not affected by weather and can be fully automated and


Equipment cost*

Operating cost per hour

Annual cost*

Cost per tonne*

(labour, maintenance, fuel)*

Telestacker conveyor






Articulated truck

35 tonnes





Mine truck

50 tonnes





*All dollar denominations in $USD. operated at the touch of a button. Aside from initial capital cost, operating expenses are the next major measured costs in aggregate operations. Initial comparative areas show that conveyor systems have high capacity and a low cost of operation; while depending on distance, the capital cost of a conveyor system can be higher than a haul truck. However, no matter what the distance, the cost of operating a conveyor will be less. Long range costs show that conveyors have limited inflationary effect and a long life span of at least 20 years.

TOPOGRAPHY, DESIGN EFFICIENCIES Current conveyor technology can take on inclines up to 35 degrees while truck efficiency is compromised in any inclined application. There are also immovable issues such as the lay of the land. Haul trucks are not designed to tackle grades much above six per cent. It is clear that more and more operations are limiting truck transport to the area between the working face and the pit crusher. That means haul trucks are suitable mainly for level applications and truck efficiency is compromised in any inclined application.




Figure 1. The cost comparison per tonne of a haul truck versus a conveyor.

Overland conveyors offer cost-effective material transport and a wide spectrum of capacities.

However, bigger isn’t necessarily better. A common misconception is that oversized equipment lasts longer and requires less maintenance. Conveyors should be sized according to the expected load yet allow for a small capacity increase. For example, going with a 90cm belt when you only need a 76cm belt will ultimately result in additional belt and idler rolling resistance, and less energy efficiency. Also, overland conveyors do not need to be eight kilometres long over rugged, mountainous terrain to be considered as a legitimate option. Overland conveyor lengths as short as 150 metres have been shown to have significant cost reductions over haul trucks. Payback of a system from 300m to 900m has been shown to be as short as 88 days to 182 days. Electric motors consume 64 per cent of the electricity produced in the United States, according to a northeast utilities provider whose report cites the example of a 75kW AC induction motor that costs approximately $USD5000, yet will use as much as $USD35,000 worth of electricity over its lifetime. With that said, it is clear that small improvements in efficiency can generate 24

Quarry May 2020

notable energy savings. As such, today’s conveyor manufacturers normally install new premium efficiency motors on each unit they build. Since these motors perform most efficiently near their designed power rating, it is recommended to run at between 75 per cent and near 100 per cent of full load rating. If you’re running at 50 per cent of capacity or lower, the efficiency of the motor drops dramatically. Motor size should be matched to the wattage requirements of the load. Again, some producers will oversize a motor, thinking that it will require less maintenance. However, the energy savings realised from a properly sized motor will outperform any maintenance savings derived from a larger model. Monitoring and minimising rolling resistance requires paying close attention to the quality of your belt and idlers. Manufacturers are now designing belts with special covers that help to counter rolling resistance. Idlers may look similar but they vary in performance. Speak to your conveyor manufacturer for a recommendation about the right bearing and seal type for your application. Proper idler spacing is also important. Again, consult with your conveyor manufacturer for idler spacing and rolling resistance formulas.

Systems must be designed and operated relative to the maximum material lump size. This is particularly applicable to material conveyed from the primary crusher. As the lump size increases, the potential capacity for a given belt width decreases. Some producers may skimp on belt width while running at higher speeds or capacities. While they may size their belt according to lump size, they may be running at a capacity that is not suitable to that lump size. A basic rule of thumb dictates that you should never run at an excess of 80 per cent of volumetric capacity. Plus, when you’re running material that is at maximum lump size, it is best to remain under 80 per cent volumetric capacity to maintain standard edge distance and safe operation.

SAFETY, MAINTENANCE, ENVIRONMENT Obviously safe conveyor maintenance does not allow for crawling under the unit to get to the other side. A ground line or overland conveyor must be designed with crossover points (for pedestrians and/or vehicles) at convenient intervals, so that producers can safely, easily and efficiently complete maintenance tasks on both sides of the system. However, beyond costs per tonne, there are other key drivers in an emerging overland conveying trend. Consider the ever-tightening environmental regulations. Individual mobile haulage units emit and stir pollution along the entire transfer path. As production sites expand and encroach upon suburban development, concerns arise over dust, noise and traffic. As such, quarry owners are often involved in decade-long negotiations over leasing and permits. For instance, when faced with government and community opposition, a California-based aggregate operation proposed the use of overland conveyors over scrapers and trucks. It was armed with an environmental impact statement issued by the US Bureau of Land Management. It reported that the use of overland conveyors over haul trucks would reduce estimated PM-10 emissions (ie particulate matter larger than 10 microns) by mobile haulage from 95kg per day to as little as 2.3kg per day. In addition, community concerns could be eased by the fact that an overland conveyor would offer quiet material transport, and when designed properly, could blend in with the environment.

DESIGN QUESTIONS A long distance conveying system needs to be based in reality, and according to specific site parameters. The following questions should be considered during the purchasing process: • What is the lay of the land? • What is the percentage of incline? • Will you need to cross roads or streams? • What is the best way to route the conveyor? • What is your power availability? • What are your power requirements? Answering these questions will provide a clearer picture of what type of conveyor system will not only work for you but will make your operation safer for personnel, environmentally friendlier and more economical. • Source: Superior Industries

Conveyors are also beneficial for radial stacking or telescoping stockpiling applications where trucks have been traditionally used.

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RADIAL STACKER PROMISES MASTERY OF PEAK EFFICIENCY A US-based aggregates producer continues to reach new heights with the development of its recycled asphalt products – thanks to its acquisition of a radial stockpiling conveyor.


chieving peak efficiency levels is an everyday feat of engineering and teamwork at the Geneva Rock Products Point-of-the-Mountain site in Utah, in the USA. The facility has long been lauded for its commitment to sustainability, energy savings, and safety – which is well illustrated by a unique energy-generating downhill overland conveyor system that was commissioned more than five years ago. This much-touted material handling system (which according to the company paid for itself in under three years) transfers up to 2725 tonnes of material per hour from a mountain of upper-ledge rock to ground-level processing operations – while generating enough electricity to power the entire facility. As to the latter, most people would say that Geneva Rock has indeed reached its peak performance. However, the company continues to climb higher and higher with ongoing improvements to each circuit and system, and to every transfer point, belt, pulley, idler, and more. For Geneva Rock, truly mastering peak efficiency is all in the material handling details.

DESEGREGATED RECYCLE STOCKPILING One of the facility’s most recent upgrades was revamping material handling methods in its asphalt recycling operations. When specifications for the use of recycled asphalt became far more stringent in Utah, the operation needed to avoid segregation not only in the materials but also in the oil content of the recycled asphalt. “When the rules of the game change, we need to change with them,” said Geneva Rock Aggregates’ production manager Ed Clayson, an industry veteran with more than 45 years of service. 26

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Geneva Rock’s energy-saving overland conveyor system transfers up to 2725 tonnes of material per hour from a mountain of upper-ledge rock to ground-level processing operations.

Clayson said his company consulted with Superior Industries, a long-time, singlesource provider of aggregate processing equipment and material handling systems and components. “Superior Industries had designed and manufactured our downhill overland conveyor, which has performed flawlessly since we put it into operation,” he said. Superior recommended the use of a 914mm x 46m TeleStacker conveyor, a telescoping radial stacking conveyor which eliminates material segregation by stockpiling materials in windrows to ensure that the stockpiled material meets specifications. “There is quite a variance in the oil content between the chunk asphalt and the milled asphalt that’s hauled into our facility for recycling,” Clayson said. He explained that prior to the use of the new TeleStacker conveyor, the business had used a standard radial stacker to stockpile the recycled asphalt. Attempts were then made to blend the material with the use of a dozer – and even with additional materials handling, there was too much discrepancy in the specs. “The TeleStacker has eliminated these costly issues as we introduce the material back into our HMA plant,” Clayson said. “We’re getting more uniform gradations in our pile and have not had any specification issues to date. Due to the way the unit is programmed, we get a much better blend of material, and the product is the

same on one end of the pile as it is on the other.”

LATEST DESIGN ADVANCEMENTS Superior Industries designed and manufactured the very first telescopic radial stacker in 1997, and over the years, feedback from the field has led to numerous innovations in its design. “The latest design advancements to the TeleStacker conveyor make it the best value for money,” Clayson said. He adds that his team particularly likes the new FD Auto Level technology, which automatically maintains a level head pulley while in radial travel mode – an important factor since an uneven conveyor structure is one of the leading causes of belt mistracking on radial telescopic conveyors. “In the location where we’re stockpiling, it’s not like we can build a concrete pad or runway to keep it perfectly level, so the auto-levelling feature is a really big deal that ensures the integrity of the belt and structure,” Clayson said. Equally important, he said, is the addition of a material flow sensor (the SonicScout material sensor) which causes the telescopic conveyor to stop radial travel should there be a stoppage in feed material. “With recycling, there is often some contamination in the material that may stop material flow,” Clayson explained. “If there is no feed material hitting the conveyor, the sensor causes the conveyor to stop its travel,

preventing the potential of gaps in the stockpile.” Clayson also said the unit’s PilePro automation program is user-friendly, easy to operate, and easy to troubleshoot via one call to Superior’s in-house automation team. The zoning technique of the program allows Geneva Rock to build a higher volume stockpile on a limited footprint. “We need to stockpile as much as we can in our designated area,” he said. “During the [northern hemisphere] winter, we’ll build a 27,215-tonne stockpile that will feed the asphalt plant all summer long.”

HIGH QUALITY COMPONENTS A big advantage in working with Superior, Clayson said, is the fact it is one of very few manufacturers to design and build both the conveyor systems and the components. “I have been around conveyors and components throughout my entire career and I am a firm believer that Superior offers the best components,” Clayson said. “We maintain a

Superior Industries’ fixed radial stacking conveyor at Geneva Rock eliminates material segregation by stockpiling materials in windrows to meet material specifications.

large inventory of their pulleys and idlers, and over the years, they have delivered significant cost per tonne savings due to increased wear life and belt protection.” One of the standouts of the component line, he stressed, is the Chevron pulley, a V-shaped wing pulley that extends belt and pulley life by preventing rocks and debris from becoming trapped between the pulley’s wings. Compared to a conventional wing pulley, the V-shaped pulley deflects material far more effectively, while providing smooth operation with less vibration, less belt wear, less of an impact and load on the bearings, and less noise. Superior is also providing custom idlers for Geneva Rock in a few locations. “We have two existing overland conveyors built by other conveyor manufacturers, and the components

on them do not offer the quality we require,” Clayson said. “To eliminate the potential of costly downtime and belt damage, we are changing out the idlers on those conveyors with the custom components provided by Superior. “When we need a solution, we don’t just buy the equipment, but we also buy the service and support that goes with it,” Clayson said. “We’re very lucky to have the highest caliber of support from both Superior Industries and its local dealer, Kimball Equipment Company. I’ve learned over time that you can’t do this by yourself. Having the right solutions and the right support makes us successful.” In Australia, the national distributor of Superior Industries plant and equipment is 888 Crushing & Screening Equipment. • Source: Superior Industries

Product: Last loaded time: Idle time:

Product: 1/4" Chip TPH: 253 Total tons: 2075

Washed stone 12:01:07 pm 1:50:11


Loads: Tons: Payload:

19 3,965 t 33.7 t

Cut: Loads: Cycle time:

610.70 Yd3 24 29.5 seconds

Trimble LOADRITE scales enable your mixed fleet to centralize payload and productivity data. Trimble turns that data into real insights that you need to make the right decisions, at the right time, and act with confidence. OPTIMIZE LOAD/HAUL




aggregates.trimble.com | Phone 1800 655 860 Email aggregates@trimble.com

© 2020, Trimble Inc. All rights reserved. TC-300 (03/20)

Loaded by: Hex 1 Product: Shot Rock Dump Location: Primary Crusher



Multinational crushing and screening manufacturer Metso has been renowned for many years for its innovations in mobile crushing and screening solutions. Now, in conjunction with its local distributor, it is launching a new suite of mobile solutions to the Australian market.


etso has expanded its mobile crushing and screening solutions offering with an extensive new portfolio of equipment. The new Metso Nordtrack range consists of 19 machines designed to meet the requirements of aggregates producers and contractors to the construction industry. With standard configurations and a global sales and support network, Nordtrack machines are suitable for contractors and quarries that need to meet tight project timelines and guarantee capacity quickly. Metso’s Australian vice president of aggregates Shaun Fanning says the Nordtrack range has been purpose-designed for asphalt recycling, concrete demolition, aggregate production and for screening of organic materials such as topsoil. “While we have traditionally had a strong performance in hard rock applications, the Nordtrack range caters for a wider scope of work,” Fanning explained. “It is ideal for companies and contractors who need the right combination of productivity, availability and dependability at an affordable price point.” The new range consists of 19 mobile units,


Quarry May 2020

J127 mobile jaw crusher

I908S mobile HSI crusher


J127 jaw crusher

I908S HSI crusher

Feed Opening

1270mm x 735mm

860mm x 650mm


Tier 3 LRC: Cat C9 261kW Stage IIIB: Cat C9.3 CSE 275kW Tier 4F/Stage V: Cat C9.3B 261kW

Volvo D8 188kW


56.5 tonnes

27.5 tonnes

Transport width



Transport height



Transport length



Included in basic configuration

Remote controller for the tracks, water spraying system with pump, aluminum dust cover on main conveyor, working lights, crusher deflector plate, side conveyor

Remote controller for tracks, water spraying system with pump, working lights, crusher automation


Magnet separator

Twin pole magnet separator, side conveyor, extra controller for other functionalities

The S2.11 is highly manoeuvrable.

Metso’s portfolio of Nordtrack mobile equipment is suited for quarries and construction industry contractors.

including jaw crushers, impact crushers, screens and conveyors. According to Fanning, Australian customers are fully supported by Metso’s Australian distributor Tutt Bryant Equipment, whose representatives are trained on the capabilities of each machine and have direct access to Metso’s global technical support network. “It is vital that our customers are fully supported throughout their ownership journey. The team at Tutt Bryant are well equipped to support Nordtrack, backed by the knowledge and expertise of Metso’s global product and service design centres,” he said. Business development manager for Tutt Bryant Equipment Paul Doran said Nordtrack adds new capabilities to Metso’s mobile equipment offering. “The new range fills a few product gaps and provides additional options for our customers,” he said. “This, along with their price point and simple operation will appeal to a large proportion of Aussie end users. We look forward to seeing these robustly constructed and reliable machines helping our customers both in Australia and offshore.” Doran said some of the key additions include: • The J127 mobile jaw crusher, which is built to deliver high productivity after deployment in the field. The wide crusher feed opening and the two-stage feeder enable high throughput in both quarrying and recycling operations. • The I908S mobile horizontal shaft impact (HSI) crusher, which provides superior performance in a very compact size. Equipped with a HSI crushing unit, a

hanging screen module with easy to use attachment system, and a 180-degree radial conveyor, the I908S is flexible enough for most types of jobs. • The S2.11 mobile scalping screen, which is designed to process large volumes of feed material with precision. It has the flexibility to screen a wide variety of feed materials in different recycling, demolition and aggregate applications. • The S4.12 mobile screen, which is

equipped with three decks for effective high volume screening. The standard remote controller can be upgraded with additional functionality, enabling operators to control the feeder parameters at a safe distance from the machine. The mobile Nordtrack range is now available to the Australian market through Tutt Bryant Equipment. •

S2.11 mobile scalping screen

S4.12 mobile screen

Source: Metso


S2.11 scalper

S4.12 screen




Screen size

6100mm x 1800mm top deck, 5500mm x 1800mm bottom deck

6710mm x 1830mm top deck, 6710mm x 1830mm middle deck, 6100mm x 1830mm bottom deck

Feed hopper




Tier 3 LRC: Cat C7.1 165kW Stage IIIB: Cat C7.1 CSE 209kW Tier 4F/Stage V: Cat C7.1 165kW

Tier 3 LRC: Cat C7.1 165kW Stage IIIB: Cat C7.1 CSE 209kW Tier 4F/Stage V: Cat C7.1 165kW


37 tonnes

42.4 tonnes

Transport width



Transport height



Transport length



Included in standard configuration

Remote controller for tracks, working lights

Tipping grid, three-way platform, hydraulic lifting conveyor raising, hydraulic fines conveyor lowering, remote controller for tracks, working lights, hydraulic PTO


Apron feeder, two-way split, kit for side conveyors on same side, water spraying system with pump, extra remote controller for feeder functions, bi-power system to drive hydraulic circuit

Water spraying system with pump, extra remote controller for feeder functions, two-deck vibrating grid

Quarry May 2020 29

Following many hours of research, testing and trials, Komatsu wheel loaders fitted with third party load scales are now consistently achieving levels of accuracy.





Quarry May 2020

100 90 Surface pressure. MPa

ver the past four years, Komatsu New Zealand’s product support and technical teams have been working with customers and suppliers to ensure Komatsu wheel loaders achieve high accuracy and consistent results when fitted with third party load scales. As a result of an ongoing program of research, testing and many hours of trials, Komatsu wheel loaders fitted with these third party scales are now consistently achieving levels of accuracy that are significantly better than other brands of loader. Following this program, Komatsu loaders are consistently achieving 0.5 per cent accuracy or better. Due to NZ regulations covering road trucks, sites that do not have a certified weighbridge should have their wheel loaders equipped with “legal for trade” load scales, which require annual calibration to maintain their certification. Generally they are required to achieve load accuracies of one per cent (or better in some cases). The program was led by Komatsu NZ’s product support manager Brent Hepple, who had several requests to ensure Komatsu loaders could achieve exceptionally accurate readings with load scales. The concern was the company could lose sales in significant numbers to quarries and mineral processing operations if it wasn’t achievable. “Inaccurate or inconsistent load scale results are particularly critical in operations where there is no weighbridge, so the weight of material in each bucket load must be spot on,” Hepple said. “If your operation is relying on a loader fitted with scales to ensure your trucks are not overloaded, then each bucket load weight is critical. “We have customers who want their trucks loaded to exactly 30 tonnes to optimise their haulage operations. But if their trucks are even slightly overloaded, they’ll get a ticket.”

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

IQT High-strength BMRC brass material Type of bushing materials

Comparison of resistance to seizure A comparison of the resistance to seizure in bushing materials.

Another important customer sector reliant on highly accurate scale results is the lime industry. “Lime blends have to have very precise mixes to meet their customer specifications,” Hepple explained. “If there’s too much of a lower quality mix, customers aren’t getting what they’ve paid for. If there’s too much of the premium product, the producers are losing money.” Hepple, along with Ron Chilton, Komatsu NZ’s technical support representative for the South Island, spent a lot of time working with customers to try to solve these issues, and also to figure out why they seemed to be unique to Komatsu loaders, and didn’t as a rule happen with other brands. Hepple and Chilton – whom Hepple credits as having done the bulk of the work with customers and suppliers – also worked closely with Loadrite and RDS, the two leading load scale suppliers in NZ. As it turned out, there were two areas to focus on, and each interacted with the other to prevent Komatsu achieving the highly accurate, consistent results required.

“Fairly early on, we identified that friction in the loader bucket bushing was part of the issue,” Hepple said. “Over a number of years, we tried a number of different low friction bushings. They gave us some encouraging results, but they still weren’t giving us the accuracy we needed. “Then we stumbled on something in a Komatsu excavator parts book that referred to a BMRC bush, which is a special sintered aluminium/copper bush fitted to some models of Komatsu excavators so they could raise greasing intervals to more than 500 hours. We tried some of these, and found the accuracy was significantly improved. “Loader scales work on hydraulic pressure to calculate load weights, and the slightest increase in friction in the bushings meant more pressure in the hydraulic system, which in turn meant the scales gave an incorrect reading.” Hepple and his team brought in some sets of BMRC bushes from Komatsu Japan, and trialled them on some loaders in a couple of operations. While these addressed some of the issues, the consistency required still wasn’t there, so Hepple and the team did some more research. “We started looking at the Closed-Centre Load Sensing System or CLSS hydraulic system that’s been used on just about all Komatsu construction machines since the late 1990s,” Hepple said. “It’s pretty much unique to Komatsu, and something no other manufacturers use, certainly not on loaders. Most hydraulics on other earthmoving brands are open-centre systems. “Our CLSS gives us significant advantages in precision and control. It’s faster, and more reliable and robust, plus it also contributes to Komatsu machines’ reputation for excellent fuel efficiency,” he added. “So we started adjusting the loader hydraulic circuits on these loaders that we’d

fitted with the new bushes, using data logging to measure and calibrate the hydraulic systems’ wave pattern. These wave patterns are used by the load scales to calculate bucketload weights. We found we were able to adjust our Komatsu CLSS hydraulic systems to get the wave patterns in precisely the right spot. “By doing this, we were able to get to accuracies of 0.5 per cent consistently with Komatsu loaders – which is even better than the scale manufacturers can guarantee,” Hepple said. “So the solution turned out to be the combination of these ultra-low friction bushes and the calibration of our hydraulic systems. “As with all loaders fitted with load scales that are used for sales and truck loading work, our hydraulic systems do need regular calibration and checking to maintain accuracy,” he added. “But we are now finding as a result of our research that Komatsu machines as they get older actually get even more accurate in measuring bucket load



weights, as things wear a bit and there’s a touch less friction.” As a result of this program, all Komatsu loaders in the WA380 to WA480 size range sold in New Zealand and Australia are now fitted with BMRC ultra-low friction bushes as a standard fitment. “We also think that Komatsu will be very well positioned into the future, as aftermarket load scales are getting more and more accurate, with increased levels of sensitivity,” Hepple said. “Now that we know exactly how to set up and calibrate our loaders to get the best possible results, we believe we have a significant advantage over other suppliers.” Hepple also acknowledged the assistance provided by load scale suppliers Loadrite, which started in NZ and still carries out the bulk of its research and manufacturing in the country, and RDS. “Loadrite has the larger market share in NZ, while I believe RDS is more prevalent in Australia,” he said. “We were having these issues with both brands, and both were





The BMRC special sintered aluminium/copper bush was previously fitted to some Komatsu excavators to raise greasing intervals to more than 500 hours.

very helpful in assisting us to resolve them. Thanks to our Komatsu NZ team, along with engineering support from Komatsu Australia and Japan, plus the input from load scale suppliers and customers, we have solved this issue. “We’ve had this solution since the start of 2019, and it’s proven itself in that time. We’re now highly confident in our ability to supply loaders that consistently deliver load scale accuracies that significantly exceed industry requirements.” • Source: Komatsu Australia






an Astec Industries Company

PO BOX 142, ACACIA RIDGE, QLD, 4110 • 1300 278 322 • astecaustralia.com.au





ith vehicle drivers needing to be constantly on the lookout on-site, ifm’s smart sensor technology is offering a higher level of visibility that allows them to be better aware of their surroundings. ifm’s latest generation of 3D smart sensors detects three-dimensional objects to provide a high level of awareness and collision avoidance. The O3M 3D smart sensor determines the distance between the sensor and nearest surface point through to the use of what the company refers to as the “time of flight (ToF) phase shift principle, an ifm patent”. Syed Ahmad, ifm’s senior technical field support engineer for mobile control systems, told Quarry 3D sensors provide quarry vehicles with a vital advantage over their one- or twodimensional counterparts. “Other sensors which are available in the market are usually one-dimensional or twodimensional,” Ahmad said. “The unique quality of this sensor is that it gives you the information about the object in a 3D plane. That makes it unique because you can see the whole XYZ coordinates of a particular object within the region of interest or field of view.” The O3M sensor provides distance monitoring with 64 regions of interest, removing the issue of vehicle blind spots. ifm tested the sensor in quarries before it was released to the industry, allowing the company to implement solutions to machines on both flat and inclined surfaces. One of the areas that testing examined was visibility in dust levels. Ahmad said ifm’s sensors found a way to tackle this. “We implemented some of the techniques through integrating some additional sensors which can tell us whether the machine is on a flat surface or an inclined surface,” he said. “That enabled us to program the logic of what 32

Quarry May 2020

ifm’s 3D smart sensor has the ability to detect objects in vehicle blind spots.

object or what obstacles to pick depending on what surface we’re on.” ifm’s sensors can detect reflective objects from up to 30 metres away by using technology that prevents sunlight from distorting the sensor. In dusty environments, such as a quarry, the O3M sensor can detect objects with reflective material, such as an operator’s high-vis vest by picking up on the amplitude of reflections in the environment. According to Ahmad, this provides another way for the sensor to detect objects through dust. “Also, the sensor has a functionality which can tell you if the lens is dirty, so it gives you the information – say, for example, the lens is 70 per cent dirty now, so the operators can go and clean it,” Ahmad said. With no moving components, the sensor is extremely robust compared to products such as laser sensors. The sensor is also backed by

a five-year warranty for added peace of mind. The O3M sensor also features a collision avoidance system that will activate an alarm if an object is too close or in a blind spot. “It basically triggers an audible alarm,” Ahmad said. “Of course, you can have a visual indication of what’s happening at the back while you are reversing and it can give you an output when there is an obstacle within the field of view, so it is enhanced safety for the machines,” Ahmad said. ifm’s O3M sensor also avoids motion blur that can occur with traditional line scanners. This is achieved by the sensor detecting objects three-dimensionally with the one camera – similar to augmented reality technology. With this technology, the 3D smart camera system produces customer-specific symbols, warning messages, text and drawings of complex geometric shapes in the environment. Its active suppression of background illumination also allows it to work in direct sunlight. The sensor is also easy to set up with ifm’s user-friendly Vision Assistant software. The Vision Assistant software allows the user to check settings during operation and record the data from the sensor directly from a Windows computer. According to Ahmad, the sensor eliminates the need for an extra worker to be a spotter on site. “Commonly used applications are on the front end load in a quarry,” he said. “We have got a couple of successful applications where the customers want to eliminate the possibility of having a spotter.” With an innovative R&D team in Germany, ifm continue to push the boundaries of sensor technology through on-site testing and applications. • By Nickolas Zakharia




rushers require a lot of energy to produce a finished product. In addition to the actual comminution, processes such as pre-washing, cleaning, sorting, etc must be considered. Thanks to Italian OEM Ma-estro’s systems, energy consumption per tonne of product can be significantly reduced. The key to these energy savings lies in intelligent automation of the entire production chain and real time data management. Maestro’s systems virtually dismantle the entire crushing process, from the quarry to the end product, and assess many individual parameters in the respective processes from very different angles. On average, 15 per cent of the total energy consumption can be saved in this way. It is not only energy costs that are the focus of optimisation. The real challenge for the operator of a quarry is to deliver an end product with uniform quality. Quality and reproduction depends to a large extent on the load placed on the crushers. The harder the material, the greater the stress on crushers and mills. Wet material can also become a problem for conveyors, hydrocyclones and screens. Moreover, the properties of the raw materials, such as mass, density or hardness, can change. This places different demands on plant components. Manual intervention in the process is usually difficult. The aim of continuous monitoring of the individual process steps is therefore to reduce the load on the respective machine components – depending on the current situation in the crusher. Ma-estro’s system automatically controls the entire process by connecting all the machines in the system. The sensors installed in the critical areas make it possible to constantly adjust the load in the system’s individual parts. For example, loading is controlled, material flow is adjusted or clogging scenarios are avoided. This protects the equipment, saves energy and also leads to higher product quality. In Ma-estro’s world, sensor technology plays a major role. For about a year, measurement technology from Vega has been involved in the monitoring and optimisation of the crushers. A total of 50 instruments are being used for this, including the VEGASON 61, 62 and 63, the VEGAPULS 69 and the VEGABAR 82. Most of

Vega radar technology (top left) has been successfully employed to measure material in OEM Ma-estro’s crushers.

them are level sensors. Vega radar technology is being used to measure material in crushers and mills but it also warns of screen clogging and measures the level of water used for washing the material. Other examples are the Vega sensors located at the opening of the press to control the level in the machine, on the conveyor belts to measure the load and in the storage containers to measure the quantity of the end product. Ma-estro had previously used sensors from other manufacturers for these tasks. However, these had to be integrated at great expense into the existing automation systems. Dust, residual material and moisture cause a lot of interfering reflections. It was a set of circumstances that caused considerable problems for the previously used sensors and led to inaccurate measurement. Up to the time of the devices’ implementation, Ma-estro knew very about Vega or its products. Nevertheless, sensors were installed for testing and from the very beginning of the project Ma-estro became convinced of the technology. The sensors have since found their permanent place in the crushing systems. The measurement engineering team was especially impressed by the simple configuration of the instruments. Thanks to the plics concept – ie the

standardised user interface independent of measuring principle – the Ma-estro team didn’t have to re-familiarise themselves with the different sensor types over and over again. The VEGAPULS 69 in particular delivered extremely reliable and accurate measured values – an important prerequisite for starting an optimisation of the crushing process. The level sensor operates with 80 GHz and has an antenna diameter of about 75mm. The 80 GHz beam thus bypasses anything that could otherwise get in the way, such as internal fixtures or build-up on the vessel wall. Furthermore, it easily penetrates even dense clouds of dust. This makes measurement more reliable, especially in the harsh environments found around crushers. There was yet another feature that greatly delighted the Italian company – the option to use wireless communication via Bluetooth. This is particularly useful for hard to reach areas, harsh industrial environments and ex-hazardous zones. Vega sensors can be configured and parameterised from a safe distance with a smartphone or tablet. Fast and easy to use displays and diagnostic functions are also available. Vega technology thus fits perfectly into Ma-estro’s optimisation environment. • Source: Vega Australia

Quarry May 2020 33




ustralia’s only manufacturer of high tensile and abrasion-resistant quenched and tempered steel plate says it owes its success to the benefits of local knowledge, imbued with a successful combination of resilience and formability. With its heritage firmly grounded in the mining and manufacturing sectors, Bisalloy Steel provides its highly sought after products to a range of markets, including defence, energy, mineral processing, structural engineering, and transport. Given the battering that plant and equipment takes at the hands of earth, rocks and so forth, wear resistance is a key measure when comparing the quality of steel plate products in this sector. Due to their excellent wear resistant properties, Bisalloy Wear grades have been used to make dump truck bodies, mining and earthmoving buckets, tipper bodies, and liner plates for chutes and hoppers. In addition to wear resistance, other factors like weldability and formability are also important when comparing wear grade steel plate. The wear resistance of steel is primarily determined by the amount of carbon and alloys it contains. High carbon and alloy contents can enhance wear resistance but at the same time the carbon equivalent of the steel will increase. As it requires a high pre-heating temperature during thermal cutting and welding, steel with a high carbon equivalent also tends to be difficult to work with. Therefore, in the absence of the right R&D efforts, wear resistance comes at the cost of less workability. The important thing to note here is this trade-off – between wear resistance and workability – is not necessarily directly proportionate. Through careful development, it is possible to manufacture products that achieve both characteristics. This is precisely what Bisalloy has done. 34

Quarry May 2020

Through its exacting research and testing efforts, the company has struck the right balance between durability and workability and is able to deliver the extractive industry with the wear grade steel plate products it needs. Within the extractive sector, the company’s Bisalloy Wear steel plates have found use in a broad range of products including demolition and ground engaging tools, earthmoving buckets, dragline buckets, wear plates, chutes, dump truck bodies, storage bins and hoppers. Bisalloy Wear steel plates are specifically designed, hot-rolled and heat-treated to handle these demanding applications. The four core products in the range have been developed to maximise properties such as wear resistance, while also meeting the challenging workability and weldability requirements demanded by miners. Bisalloy Wear 400 steel has proven itself to be a highly versatile, through hardened, abrasion-resistant steel plate with the ability to withstand high impact and medium level abrasion applications. Bisalloy Wear 450 – the “all rounder” of the range – offers the optimum combination of hardness, impact resistance and formability for wear applications. Combining well balanced toughness with excellent formability and weldability, Wear 450 is suitable for heavy industrial tasks like dragline excavation and is also commonly used to manufacture dump truck bodies. One of Bisalloy Steels’ first ever products – Bisalloy Wear 500 – has been continually manufactured in Australia for more than 35 years. Through a very high hardness and abrasion-resistant steel plate, it is readily weldable and formable, and therefore suitable for use in a range of applications. At the other end of the scale, in terms of its introduction to the market, the final product in the range – Bisalloy Wear 600 – was developed just seven years ago. With

a nominal Brinell hardness of 600 HBW, it is extremely wear-resistant and recommended for liners in chutes and hoppers that need to carry high hardness rocks and minerals. The success of these products has been made possible by Bisalloy’s close collaboration with leaders in science, technology and steel manufacture on intensive research programs, and it involves knowledge of – and experience in – Australian industry. By forming partnerships with local businesses, Bisalloy can develop a deep understanding of their needs and customise value-added products and services to ensure their success. The demands of high strength and high hardness steels and their subsequently stringent process routes have made it possible for Bisalloy to compete successfully in this highly specialised market. Further, as the company is local, and has all its resources in Australia, it can offer levels of development support that overseas competitors cannot easily match. Bisalloy’s collaborative approach and proximity to its Australian clients puts it in a solid position to handle engineering problems as they arise. Combined with an understanding of local conditions and Australian business culture, this is a benefit that overseas competitors cannot replicate. There is no substitute for resources on the ground, being on-hand (or at least close by) to deal with problems as they arise, and the creativity that well functioning business relationships engender. Over the years Bisalloy’s proximity, along with its demonstrated commitment to the Australian extractive sector, has made it possible for the company to achieve important incremental product improvements and meet its customers’ performance requirements. • Source: Bisalloy Steel Group




f your quarrying business is seeking a pedestal boom system – for a new crushing plant installation or replacing an older boom system – it is important to consider: • Rock hardness and size, the expected duty cycle (number of rocks per hour) and physical size of chute or crusher. • The type of applications, eg fixed crushing installation, grizzly or mobile crushing. • If it meets horizontal and vertical reach and breaker size requirements. • Control systems, such as advanced safety processors, remote operation options and readiness to spare parts access. Montabert’s boom systems, developed in conjunction with global pedestal boom manufacturer Tramac, consist of robust designs that include a low profile base incorporating a shaped plate steel that provides a strong foundation to fit any

platform mounting requirement. Heavy-duty cylinders with high strength steel, welded construction and aligned bushing ensure a long product life. For safe operating practices, technology is essential in pedestal boom systems and is achieved through utilisation of line of site remote control, collision avoidance systems, automation, and teleremote operation. Montabert has long been involved in breaker innovation, including its patented variable speed technology. This knowhow, along with the breaker’s lower input power requirement and energy recovery and regulation system, results in better percussion efficiency and greater hydraulic effectiveness. Overall, higher output power results in greater productivity in fractured and semi-fractured rock. • Source: Komatsu Mining/Joy Global

Modern technology is essential in pedestal boom systems to enable safe operating practices.




New Machines, Parts & Services

New Machines

Parts & Services







+61 448051682

+61 448893402

+61 429537243

HAZEMAG & ALLMINERAL HAVE COMBINED THEIR OPERATIONS IN AUSTRALIA AND ESTABLISHED “HAZEMAG ALLMINERAL AUSTRALIA PTY LTD” allmineral is a world-renowned specialist in the preparation of gravel, sand, coal and ore with their OEM product and services “allair®, allflux®, allgauss®, alljig® and allflot®” with several installations in Australia. Highest quality, longevity of the products, service, consulting, customer service and the satisfaction of the customers is the top priority for allmineral. HAZEMAG is a global Minerals Processing leader with trusted technology and services spanning over 175 years with broad

beneficiation experience in Engineering and Equipment Optimization across the entire processing chain with durability, capacity and efficiency in our products and services offering OEM products as such as “Impact Crusher, Sizers, Roller Crushers, Hammer Mills, Roller Screens, Apron Feeders, Feeder Breakers, Chain Feeders and Mobile Plants. Engineered and manufactured in Germany, with machine installations in Australia operating for over 50 years in the quarry, mineral and recycling industries.



Coronavirus has undoubtedly taken industries globally by surprise. However, as Kevin Garcia explains, well prepared teams in the aggregates industry, equipped with the right tools and precautions, can still succeed in this challenging, health-conscious environment.


ggregate producers and contractors are facing unprecedented challenges, as is every other industry to a greater or lesser degree. But how we deal with adversity and find workable solutions will dictate a positive outcome in the future. Whereas we may have looked to the flexibility of our teams to help us through, we now have a range of new workflows enabled by technology to help us cope. Now is a great time to learn more about the options available and talk with technology partners about your unique challenges, your goals and how technology can work for you. Managers can help restore calm, mitigate spread and equip staff with tools to look after themselves and others. After any immediate isolation or quarantine strategies, how can smart aggregates operations protect staff and customers, and reduce costs from their operations to weather the pandemic?

TAKE A BREATH Every day, the news media confronts us with updates of the spread. It can seem overwhelming for managers and teams alike. Take a breath, pause and think through your response. As more time passes, we can understand the situation better, and a better understanding leads to more predictable outcomes. Wait to make decisions on reducing your workforce. It was tough to find skilled operators before, and you often can’t just hire someone with no experience, especially if you expect a rebound. Before taking drastic measures of reducing staff, consider how to cut costs caused by waste and improve efficiency. TAKE PREVENTATIVE MEASURES Embed good hygiene practices into your toolbox talks and walk-around inspections. The toolbox talk is a good time to discuss health and safety with your crew, including reminder advice to practise good hygiene, including 36

Quarry May 2020

Using third party on-board scales on your mobile plant and equipment can collect productivity data that can be easily shared with teams for better decision-making.

frequent hand washing, covering your mouth with an arm during coughs and avoiding touching your face. Regular maintenance of the machine is well understood, so leverage the walkaround inspection as a time to also disinfect the cab, especially when multiple operators share a machine.

LISTEN TO FEARS, CONCERNS There is plenty of misinformation and confusion about the pandemic, so listen carefully to concerns to help identify staff anxiety. Laying out a strategy for how your team will respond to the pandemic is a good start but proving to your team you are supporting them with new tools is even better. BE FLEXIBLE Emergency protocols within affected communities, such as government-mandated containment areas and mandatory sheltering in place, could trigger a variety of challenges. When public transportation shuts down or schools close, many employees find it difficult or impossible to show up for work. An employer who can maintain a flexible

approach to production is more likely to retain staff. Consider how production targets are more important than hours at work. Can your operation use technology tools to allow operators to move between machines and still be productive? Even your customers may ask for more flexibility in materials delivery. This may mean increasing your stockpiles to be ready for changes in demand. Make sure you equip your sales team with an accurate understanding of your product on the ground with real time stockpile management. Measurement tools like Loadrite loader scales and belt scales, for example, give you real time information about the amount of materials going into or taken out of the stockpile, and loader scales can also help ensure that every truck is loaded correctly.

ISOLATION AT SITE “Like many countries, Australia has been tasked with the difficult prospect of keeping core industry running, stipulating that quarries serve as a critical part of the construction industry,” said Dan Berry, the general manager of Loadrite dealership SmartTech Australia,

which has offices across the country. For sites where operators are working but exercising safe social distancing, technology can reduce the need for customer truck drivers to engage directly with loader operators, as job information can be transmitted directly from the scale house to the loader operator’s in-cab screen.

REDUCED PAPER HANDLING Many operators will be isolated by the cab, and beyond regular cleaning of surfaces, technology can help to isolate them further. Electronic ticketing technology, for example, can email the loading ticket to the truck driver’s mobile phone or the office, just as a paper ticket does. By replacing the physical handover of a loading ticket, it reduces the need for proximity of any objects that may have the virus. New load and haul monitoring systems have also replaced haul truck tally sheets. In fact, some newer systems require no haul truck operator interaction to track cycles, with remote reporting for anyone off-site. “We have been working with key industry leaders to help drive change in the move to paperless docket solutions on jobsites and within the subcontractor ecosystems,” Berry said. “We feel this pandemic will be the catalyst for driving e-docket solutions into acknowledged market best practice to help prevent increased site risks of transmission via the removal of paper-based document hand-off hundreds of times per day to multiple sites.” KEEPING SKELETON CREWS SAFE Loading trucks, feeding hoppers, moving stockpiles and the co-ordination and supervision of these tasks need to be done on-site. Some technology solutions not only monitor production but also track staff and machine movement. Through mobile smart devices, the on-site team leader can tell the team is working and safe. STAYING IN TOUCH FROM HOME Many employers have asked staff who are able to work from home to stay away for the time being but that doesn’t mean they can’t keep track of that shift’s production. The new Trimble Insight, for example, is a real time, mobile-friendly dashboard of each machine as it feeds the processing plant, during crushing, and as material is loaded onto customer trucks. The dashboard keeps track of start time, delays and each machine’s productivity.

Just because staff have been asked to work at home doesn’t mean they can’t keep track of a shift’s production.

Electronic ticketing technology can now be sent to a truck driver’s mobile phone or the office, replacing a physical paper ticket.

The toolbox talk is a good time to remind workers to practise good hygiene.

REDUCE WASTE It seems likely that the construction sector will contract in the near-term future, so look for process improvement opportunities to reduce costs. Are there any pinch points or delays that can be solved? GET MORE FROM YOUR MACHINE ASSETS In 2019, the lead times for mobile machines extended out by months and forced operators to look at a mixed fleet with different makes and models. However, this can make it difficult to collect all your production data in a single place. Using third party on-board scales on your loaders, excavators, haul trucks and conveyors collects productivity data that can be easily shared with teams for better decision-making.

A LONG GAME The Australian economy may go into a recession, but generally construction activity lags the overall economy. This means that many contractors can expect more difficult circumstances next year. By playing a long game, managers can endure the short-term and be ready for what 2021 will bring. Producers that are sufficiently prepared can prosper even during difficult economic times. • Kevin Garcia is the general manager of civil specialty solutions for Trimble’s Civil Engineering and Construction Division, which includes Trimble’s solutions for the aggregates industry.

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WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE WORLD COMES TO A GRINDING HALT? In just a matter of months, the world has been literally transformed – thanks to a biological disruptor that has virtually brought whole industries and societies to a crawl at exactly the same time. John McGuire contemplates what businesses will need to do to right their course in these unsettling times – and to prepare for a future beyond COVID-19.


our years ago, I started a blog – called Just Imagine1 – with a single goal: to give people inspiration to think differently about the future. Since that time, people have written about an amazing array of topics covering leadership, diversity, disruption and sustainability, to name but a few. Each time, the content, topic and position has been rather controversial and future-orientated – both provocateur and challenging the status quo to shake things up and make people look twice. Yet four years ago – or even four weeks ago – no one could ever have seriously contemplated the scenario we are seeing right now unfold before our eyes. I wouldn’t have been taken seriously had I written a blog that started with “Just imagine the world coming to a grinding halt for six months”! But here we are! So, what do we do when the almost implausible becomes the new reality? What do you do when a disruptor – in this case biological rather than digital – rewrites the business plan for almost every organisation on the planet?

DEFENDING YOUR HORIZONS True disruptors are rarely your current competitors. They come from below or places you are not expecting. Mehrdad Baghai, co-author of The Alchemy of Growth2, recommended that organisations need to work across three horizons simultaneously in order to achieve sustainable growth and defend against disruption. Horizon 1 was your current business as usual. Horizon 2 was new products and services, and Horizon 3 was the space for experimenting and seeding options for the future. This strategy has received much recognition in the business world. However, most organisations fail to implement it effectively. Most companies are too busy in 38

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Pieter Bruegel’s The Triumph of Death (1562) portrayed the social upheaval after plague in medieval Europe. Human labour became a premium, giving rise to today’s work style.

Horizon 1 (H1) to dedicate the necessary time and effort to Horizons 2 and 3 (H2 and H3). What this does is leave organisations vulnerable to disruption and, for many, this is where we are seeing them now. What COVID-19 has unwittingly done is reduced the H1 revenue stream of many businesses around the world, in a matter of weeks, in some cases, to zero. It is proving to be the ultimate disruptor. New business models will need to be written and quickly. The imperative of finding new sources of revenue from your current underutilised assets will come to the fore. Businesses have a choice now. The natural reaction – either in busy times or times of crisis – is to focus on H1 only and ignore H2 and H3. Yet history shows that life changes significantly after a major event. Do you hunker down, and hope that when things are

over, you’ll still be able to put up an “open for business” sign? The trap in this thinking is that your customers’ behaviours are likely to have changed. They might not want your products or services in the way you had previously delivered them.

RISK OF BEING RISK AVERSE The obvious reaction for many will be anxiety and, what follows from that, fear. In the face of these emotions, we inherently seek security and safety. We become risk averse. When we become risk averse we don’t try new things and don’t experiment. If this occurs at an organisational level, and many organisations become risk averse, then we quickly end up all looking the same. This is a world of lack of differentiation and a sure path to commoditisation. Success after COVID-19 will require a

new way of thinking about your assets and customers and it will need a design mindset. Your innovation will need to be the sharpest it has ever been to make it through to the other side and grow stronger as a result. Understanding how customer behaviours are going to change will be crucial for future success. How can you innovate and use assets differently? For example, hotels are now being used as isolation spots. What IT infrastructure do you have that could be used to augment the National Broadband Network? What pain points are your customers experiencing right now from social isolation and what insight can you gain to design a better product/service? I’ve seen nimble gym owners pivot and rent out their equipment – perhaps this model will be continued even when they reopen. Almost every industry will be impacted as this is disruption on a scale we’ve never seen before. Previously disruption was thought about on an industry by industry basis, but we haven’t considered the same disruptor disrupting everything at the exact same time.

WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE? Over the months ahead, we are all likely to get a crash course in the very foundations of economic theory. We will need to think deeply about how customer behaviour will change in the way they consume our products and services. By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the memes circulating about how Shakespeare wrote King Lear and Isaac Newton invented calculus during quarantine for the plague. The Great Plague has been christened as giving birth to modern society3, resulting in the creation of hospitals, guns and

Interconnected human ingenuity is the key to overcoming not just the epidemiological but the sociological, industrial and technological challenges of COVID-19.

modern homes. As labour became more precious, tools that made work easier were invented. Clocks and hourglasses came into existence to track the time people spent working, and the first eyeglasses were introduced to increase productivity. Boston smallpox resulted in the first independent newspaper in the US. The SARS epidemic in China is largely credited with the penetration of e-commerce in China, and it is expected a post-COVID China will be a cashless society. For the next few months, Just Imagine will focus on thinking differently about assets, customers, human behaviour and business models, giving oxygen to the innovations and inventions that could potentially emerge from COVID-19. We will use our imagination to think of the world after coronavirus, and what this could mean for businesses and infrastructure.

And perhaps when we “just imagine” alternative possibilities in the future, they might not be such a far stretch from our actual reality. • John McGuire is the global chief design officer at Aurecon.

REFERENCES & FURTHER READING: 1. Aurecon launches Just Imagine – a future focused blog. https://www.aurecongroup. com/about/latest-news/2016/march/aureconlaunches-just-imagine-future-focused-blog 2. Baghai M, Coley S, White D. The alchemy of growth: Practical insights for building the enduring enterprise. Basic Books, 2000. ISBN10: 0738203092; ISBN-13: 978-0738203096. 3. Mehta K. Why coronavirus will stimulate innovation. Forbes, 9 March, 2020. https:// www.forbes.com/sites/kmehta/2020/03/09/ why-coronavirus-will-stimulateinnovation/#4a4e75b82283


The Institute of Quarrying Australia


TRAINING, SUPPORT MATERIAL FOR MEMBERS, QUARRIES IN COVID-19 RESTRICTION PERIOD The impacts of COVID-19 have meant people right across our industry and our communities have had to make many adjustments and difficult decisions, including realigning how our teams work and realignment of our businesses. I want to thank our branches, committees, sponsors, administrators and staff for their co-operation and hard work to help the industry and the IQA adjust. It is vital that the quarrying industry can continue operations during COVID-19 restrictions. This is only possible if the industry continues to provide a safe environment for its workers and stakeholders by implementing the correct safety practices pertaining to COVID-19. The IQA will continue to release training and support material to help the industry during this time. A detailed COVID-19 Health and Safety Management Plan Assessment Tool has been developed. The tool can be used to guide on-site assessment and will support the requirements in various states for COVID-19 management plans. The IQA has also developed and now released a suite of resources to educate the industry about respirable crystalline silica (RCS). This includes a workshop that will cover,

in depth, the recent changes to the Work Exposure Standard (WES) for RCS from 0.1mg/m3 to 0.05mg/m3. The workshop will specifically focus on topics such as health effects, the WES and the adjustment for longer shifts, risk assessment, controls, reporting, communication and training, and principal health hazard plans. Post-COVID-19 restrictions, face to face workshops will be scheduled accordingly. Until then, a three-phase release is occurring – fact sheets, webinars and workshops to educate on RCS best practice guidelines, product exposure, and employee health and safety. Fact sheets and advice about RCS and COVID-19 can be found under the “Education” tab at quarry.com.au During the COVID-19 restrictions the IQA has been engaged in its strategic planning process. In a time that has required unprecedented actions, this process has provided a refreshing opportunity to look towards the future. As we look at our industry and its contribution to the economy, employment, innovation and the community we can be encouraged

by the opportunity that is ahead. The IQA is continuing to develop education content to ensure members have access to information via the website and online. We have successfully moved content online and managed a range of activities virtually. Please visit the IQA website – quarry.com.au – for new courses and what’s available. We are busy planning the year ahead and are always seeking input on what is needed. If you have any training needs, please email education@quarry.com.au KYLIE FAHEY CEO Institute of Quarrying Australia

FREE RESOURCES TO SUPPORT MEMBERS DURING COVID-19 We are living in a time like no other. The impacts of COVID-19 have meant people right across our industry and our communities have had to make many adjustments and difficult decisions, including re-aligning how our teams work and realignment of our businesses. It is vital that the quarrying industry continues to operate during COVID-19 restrictions. This is only possible if the industry continues to provide a safe environment for workers and stakeholders by implementing the correct safety practices pertaining to COVID-19.

various states for COVID-19 management plans.

The IQA will continue to release training and support material to help the industry during this time. A detailed COVID-19 Health and Safety Management Plan Assessment Tool has been developed and can be used to guide on-site assessment to support the requirements in

• How to clean your heavy vehicle cabin to reduce the spread of COVID-19


Quarry May 2020

Here’s what else we’ve been working on!

RCS FACT SHEETS • RCS Cabin Integrity Fact Sheet

We have created a range of resources to help you operate effectively, efficiently and with compliance. We want you to view, print and distribute these Fact Sheets to promote best practice in your workplace.

• RCS Hygiene and Housekeeping Fact Sheet



• COVID-19 Stimulus Package for Business Owners Fact Sheet

• Anxiety Management Strategies Fact Sheet

• RCS Protective Equipment Fact Sheet • RCS Silicosis Fact Sheet • RCS - What is it? Fact Sheet

• Video Conferencing Fact Sheet

We are excited to deliver industry-leading and innovative online content in the coming weeks – keep an eye on the IQA website – quarry.com.au – for more details. The IQA staff remain contactable via phone and email (see contact details on page 6).

• Working From Home Fact Sheet

By Kylie Fahey

• Workplace Safety Compliance COVID-19

14-16 APRIL 2021





MHD Supply Chain Solutions




Members of the public viewed the Capital Hill unconformity in a rare tour on 14 and 15 March this year. Image courtesy of www.australias.guide

The Capital Hill unconformity is believed to hide clues about the earliest life in Australia’s capital.

Parliament House is one of Canberra’s most renowned landmarks but it is far from its oldest. A 430 million-year-old rock formation dwelling in the basement provides a glimpse into Canberra’s ancient history. Nickolas Zakharia reports.

tectonic plates moving and shifting, so it’s very important to us,” Mayer said. “It is significant that it incorporates a piece of ancient history which has been preserved. Having parliament directly above it is a continuation of our current history, albeit there is a big gap in it all. It’s ancient history versus modern history, and they now sit one on top of the other.” However, what happened remains unclear, with about 10 million years of geological record missing due to the formation. “It’s just been wiped, it’s gone,” Mayer said in another interview with The Canberra Times. With rocks found above an unconformity being younger than the rocks below, Mayer believes this will help geologists find clues about the 10 million-year-old time gap. “In a sense you might think of an unconformity as a negative feature as it erases so much of the geological history,” Mayer said. “In fact it does the opposite. Some of the features below and above, we can actually use to reconstruct what happened in that gap. “In that sense, an unconformity is a very positive thing to have. It’s a very important feature to help us understand the very ancient history of the Canberra region.” •


ather than living under one, the national parliament has been living on top of a 430 million-year-old rock for decades. Located in Parliament House’s basement, the rock hides clues about some of the earliest life in Canberra. Referred to as the Capital Hill unconformity, the formation shows the connection of two rock masses that existed 10 million years apart. A special tour of the formation took place in March this year and is only conducted once a year. Next year’s tickets are yet to go on sale. Hosted by geologist and author Wolf Mayer, the tours provide a glimpse into the past as he explains what the rock formations mean and how its younger and older rocks can unpack Canberra’s ancient history. “This is a useful and an extremely important remnant that is now housed in the basement of Parliament House,” Mayer told Region Media. “It is probably the only parliament house in the world with an


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unconformity in its basement. “We can tell how the Canberra region looked some 430 million years ago when Australia was still connected to Antarctica. We can read the rocks, layer by layer, and piece together a history that shows how Canberra was at that time.” The rocks are made from sandstone, with mudstone scattered between, suggesting that Canberra was once at least two kilometres underwater. In basic terms, an unconformity is two rocks from different periods of time that are fused together. It shows a missing gap of time where no sediments were preserved in a region. Geologists are now able to use the unconformity to find clues about Canberra’s distant past. The unconformity, which was left by Parliament House’s builders, was concreted over until 1995 when Mayer was alerted to rocks being under the building. “The unconformity that we see shows the

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