An informal relationship between one of the world’s largest companies and one of Australia’s smallest companies has led to a new set of practices in mining achieving 90 per cent water savings.
Cooee Products is a small Sunshine Coast company that has developed a range of innovative alternative products.
Tony Pynsent from Cooee appeared on the The ABC Show, The New Inventors in August 2005 with an innovation to produce better roads and less dust.
Goonyella Riverside is a BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA Coal) mine in Central Queensland.
Also in August 2005 the mine management decided to investigate ways of improving their mine roads and to find a way of reducing their water usage.
It is common practice in surface mining to apply up to 10 loads of water a day to haul roads to keep the dust under control.
Upon seeing Tony on New Inventors, the manager of Mine Operations Geoff Brick decided to make contact.
Following a visit to the mine and discussions with mine management it was decided to go ahead with a trial. Tony worked Andre Giguere from the BMA Mining Improvement Group to establish application rates and dilutions.
Following this trial and a longer pilot project Mr Giguere published the conclusions in an extensive report.
The conclusions were that use of the Cooee DustBloc product cut the amount of water used by 90 per cent.
On the 10km section of haul road where the pilot was conducted, this represented a 900,000L a day reduction.
This type of water saving projected across the mining industry in Australia would be an amazing figure daily yet alone annually.
It has been a win/win relationship between the two companies with BMA giving Cooee an opportunity to finish the development of it’s product and application rates while Cooee has provided BMA with the answers they have been looking for.