Water access and reliable machinery are essential for successful gold prospecting and other mining activities. However, these can create real challenges in remote environments and at altitudes. When an Australian mining company experienced these challenges, a truck-mounted hose reeling system from Crusader Hose provided the ideal solution.
A challenging mining environment
There are two essential elements that mines are dependent on to prevent operational and safety issues from arising: access to water and mining equipment performing optimally.
These challenges were highlighted at a site in Western Australia’s mountain ranges when one of Australia’s largest mining giants had a drill rig located a significant distance from the nearest direct water source.
Due to the distance from the water source, the company had to send multiple trucks up and down a narrow track to transport and pump water to the site.
According to Crusader Hose engineering manager, Emeric Kovassy, this flagged a number of safety concerns as a full-time driver was needed to make the trip every three to four hours on treacherous roads.
These roads were unsealed and there were no permanent lanes, making them unsafe.
There were also times when two trucks coming from opposite directions ran into each other, resulting in one truck having to reverse half a kilometre to let the other pass.
However, installing a permanent pipeline to transfer water was cost prohibitive as the drill rig was relocated to a new position half a kilometre away every week.
A flexible solution
“The mining company needed something flexible and quick to deploy to pump up the water and cool the diamond head,” Mr Kovassy said.
“But the water truck options would have needed one person to drive the truck up and down constantly.”
Crusader Hose had the ideal solution, presenting the company with its truck-mounted hose reeling system that only required one person to deploy several kilometres of heavy duty layflat hose up the hills and water would be able to be supplied until the drill rig was moved.
The reel system is designed so that mining operators can operate it in a hands-off fashion, while staying in touch with the driver.
The system comes with an adjustable swing arm that splays out to keep the layflat hose off the driving lane, and a handheld remote that gives the operator full control of the hose deployment and reeling speed.
This improves safety and eliminates extra handling as there is no need for additional people to push the hose off the side of the road behind the truck as it is deployed.
As the system can simply reel up the hose when needed and can deploy up to five kilometres of hose within less than a day, the operators could quickly and easily retrieve and redeploy the layflat hose once a drilling operation was completed and the drill rig relocated to the next site.
“We need a dedicated reel system, and that’s where my team and I come in. Even though the mining industry’s health and safety standards are very high, we’ve developed reel systems that meet company specifications,” Mr Kovassy said.
“Often these mining companies need the water out immediately, and that’s why the reeling system works to deploy whatever length they may need with rapid deployment and retrieval.
“There’s no one else in the world that could manufacture systems like this, and if there is, it’s definitely not accessible to the mining companies.”
Australian designed and manufactured
Crusader Hose developed the first major truck-mounted system to deploy a flexible layflat fuel transfer hose in 2001 for the Australian Defence Force.
The reel system can handle up to 12-inch (30.5cm) diameter hose, minimising a lot of manual handling that is required when working with hundred-metre-long hoses.
For example, a 12-inch hose of 200m length weighs around 800kg – “not what a couple of men can roll up”.
Crusader Hose general manager, Daniel Seow, credits the company’s competitive advantage to its long history in layflat hose manufacturing, and its focus on equipment that meets customer and market needs.
“We manufacture layflat hoses and with that comes with the knowledge and expertise on how to handle them,” Mr Seow said.
“Our strength is found in close teamwork, so we are able to amalgamate all technical competency, expertise, capability and custom-design approach to deliver the right solution to our customers.”
Crusader Hose also works closely with end users and resellers to better understand their needs and help them to achieve their goals.
“Crusader Hose is happy to develop a reeling system for any mining companies that need a layflat hose, see its advantages, but don’t have a way of getting it out there or dealing with the extra handling,” Mr Kovassy said.
“We really live to serve our Australian customers.”
There’s no one else in the world that could manufacture systems like this, and if there is, it’s definitely not accessible to the mining companies.
This partner content is brought to you by Crusader Hose. For more information, visit www.crusaderhose.com.au.