WHEN a stacker reclaimer at Rio Tinto’s Bengalla mine in the Hunter Valley became unable to access part of its huge stockpile, Uretek Ground Engineering was chosen to re-support the plant’s
footings and re-level its rail.
Operations in the stacker reclaimer’s area were prevented when 35m of one of its rails sank 80mm, making one third of the main stockpile inaccessible.
Accidental blockage of a 600mm drainage pipe caused coal-washing water to back up, softening the ground under a 1200mm-by-1000mm section of rail footing, and bearing capacity was lost from under the section.
With the rail partly raised back to a safe operating level the stacker reclaimer was positioned directly over the area, adding an extra 90t of overburden weight to aid compaction of the foundation ground.
“Where it’s feasible, we ask for the extra weight of machinery to maximise ground compaction,” Uretek manager Tom Bailey said.
“This applies also with the installation of new, heavier machinery in factories and mines.”
The Bengalla rail was re-levelled and ground strength was restored fast – in just three work shifts – saving a huge amount of time compared with traditional methods, and at a competitive cost.