Dust detective

TRACKING where dust is coming from on a mine site can be a challenge. A Queensland-based haul road performance and optimisation company may have the answer.

Karma Barndon

The Dustective, from Proof Engineers, is a compact and tough mobile system that can be fitted to virtually any designated dust emitting location. It is a real-time mobile dust monitor that precisely calculates dust generation from various sources.

The unit monitors dust generation from mechanical tyre action to measure variables around dust control efficiency. It provides mine sites with the quantifiable data needed to demonstrate compliance with industry air quality regulations.

Additionally, the system can evaluate the efficiency of dust suppressors by contrasting dust emissions over time after watering of treated and untreated road surfaces.

Proof Engineers civil engineer Jordan Handel said the compact system was created as a response to the consistent industry demand for ways to augment haul road dust control and mining operations.

“The monitor is fully mobile, can be fitted to nearly any specified dust emitting location, and incorporates light-scattering technology solely measuring PM10 [particulate matter 10 micrometres or less] density, the industry standard for dust auditing in mining operations,” he said.

“The Dustective can obtain the PM10 concentration, GPS location, vehicle speed, and high definition images, with raw data from the Dustective and GPS sent via the 3G network to the Proof Platform where it is automatically analysed and displayed.”

Handel said the entire Dustective system was user-friendly and non-invasive, and operation required only minimal training.

The system can be rolled out on site with minimum fuss and, when operational, the platform remained easily accessible via the web using a password protected log-in system.

It can also help reduce excessive use of water and dust suppressive treatments and lower operation costs and fuel consumption.

The Dustective has been designed to optimise maintenance scheduling and demonstrate environmental compliance, and provides real-time DCE scores and regular dust suppression performance reviews.