Innovative Approach to Open Pit Edge Protection

S. Durkin, Neville Fowkes, N. Redwood, A. Bassom

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


    An innovative product that adds benefits of both cost and safety in pit design in today’s mining climate is welcomed by industry stakeholders. Safescape developed Edge Protector (EP) with two major benefits in mind, safety and cost.
    Improved edge protection in open cut mines, provides a reduction in haul road width allowing the overall pit slope used in mine planning to be steeper without compromising safety. A steeper pit slope typically has financial benefits arising from a reduction in waste stripping, an associated benefit that additional ore at the bottom of the pit becomes economic, and potentially the ability to access deeper ore earlier in the life of the mine (when mining rate is the limiting factor). EP provides cushioning to out of control vehicles and trucks therefore minimising the risk of damage and injury. The system consists of a series of filled polyethylene shells which secure together in a row along the edge of an open pit road. The wall acts to support a bund of loose rock giving a vertical face as well as preventing trucks’ tyres from rolling up the bund. Instead, in the event of a collision the truck either deflects off the bund or is slowed as the bund absorbs the truck’s momentum. The product is also designed for simple transportation, handling and reuse on site. Early investigation on the use of EP involving mathematical modelling confirms the effectiveness as a safety barrier as well as significant improvement in the Net Present Value of operations. In
    order to verify the mathematical modelling and justify the cases presented for Net Present Value calculations, the system required monitored physical destructive testing. This paper reports on the process of developing the safety and economic benefits of the application of Safescape Edge Protector.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNinth AusIMM Open Pit Operators' Conference 2016 Proceedings
    EditorsMorrie Goodz
    PublisherAusIMM The Minerals Institute
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Print)978 1 925100 54 9
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventNinth AusIMM Open Pit Operators' Conference 2016 - Kalgoorlie, Australia
    Duration: 15 Nov 201616 Nov 2016


    ConferenceNinth AusIMM Open Pit Operators' Conference 2016


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