Kestrel saves money and time

ENVIRONMENTAL staff at Rio Tinto’s Kestrel longwall mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin have made a simple modification to its 1000 litre liquid storage cubes used for waste oil disposal which leads to considerable time and cost savings.

Blair Price

The cubes used to dispense oil liquids from the top but now have been fitted to empty liquids from the bottom, with the simple design change made after Kestrel Mine environmental officer Stuart Jenkinson made some observations.

“Since the introduction of 1000 litre cubes to the site for high usage hydrocarbons and other substances such as truck wash, I was noticing approximately 100 litres of fluid out of each cube was not being recovered and was ultimately being wasted,” he told International Longwall News.

“The Environmental Department has had to previously drain these cubes prior to disposal which has created an additional manual handling issue in the process.

“So we decided to modify the dispensing method. The modification includes a hose from the bottom tap to the pump and ensuring the cube is on a three to five degree slope toward the bottom tap.”

Jenkinson has a strong case to support the modification.

“By making this simple modification to the existing dispensing method of all 1000 litre cubes, we will reap enormous benefits across the site.

“The proposed modification will reduce the amount of double handling and resources required to empty these containers.

“In addition, it is expected to also improve recovery rate and eliminate the potential waste of an estimated 9000 litres of new oil each year.”

Jenkinson can see other mines making similar savings.

"This innovation is an initiative all mine sites could adopt, which would not only reduce resource consumption but would ultimately help reduce the impact on the environment."