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Construction sites and mining companies have a lot in common. Builders and mine operators know that when they need concrete – a lot has to go right. If a worksite runs into an unexpected event, big or small, that event can delay and even cancel the concrete altogether.
But what if there was a better approach? What if, instead of delivering concrete that had such a narrow pour window, you could simply deliver everything to site, and do it on demand?
Enter RufDiamond – a Coniston, Ontario based company that has manufactured a one-of-kind vehicle, the Agilis Mining and Tunneling Unit.
“We call it a mobile shotcrete/concrete batch plant,” said Daryl Adams, Co-Owner and Head of Sales. “There’s two ways of basically having shotcrete or concrete in a mine. One is, you can have a ready-mix truck show up from a batch plant, and it may be half an hour or 45-minute old material. And we all know concrete, it’s about set time, as soon as you add water, it’s starting to set.”
“Then it’s transferred into a trans-mixer and transported to its final worksite” he added.
“Many times, mining company’s loads are lost due to non-conformance, because the material is either too wet or too dry.”
“And the other one is dry shotcrete. Dry is where they bring it down in totes, they put it through a pump, as dry material (it’s all dehydrated) and then add water at the nozzle. Dry shotcrete results in a greater amount of rebound and more dust particulate than the wet process.
Adams says RufDiamond’s system changes the game in underground shotcrete/concrete. Pre-Blended totes from King (Sika) Shotcrete are loaded into our watertight hopper. At no time does water enter the dry hopper. When the process starts, material is conveyed into our patented mixing auger where a precise amount of water is then added per the mix design. The result is lab quality fresh shotcrete/concrete consistently, every time.
The Agilis has been three years in the making. RufDiamond partnered with Bay-Lynx, which manufactures volumetric mixers. “We’ve made this unit mine-compliant. Our machine is completely enclosed, and there’s no water that can access the dry hopper, no penetration, because if you had a full open top, in mining, it would absorb the water, the moisture, and humidity, and the material would start hardening.”
“We can replace trans-mixers with the Agilis and never have to worry about lost loads due to non conformity or unforeseen circumstances (mechanical breakdowns etc.)” said Adams.
The Agilis solves a number of problems and it’s a global exclusive to RufDiamond. “Nobody’s doing this in the world. We just finished the first one in March. And that’s our surface unit. We had a request for a large mining company in February, which made some requests for a static batch plant, so we’re in discussions with them, providing them a solution.”
Every time the Agilis mixes material all data related to the mix design is recorded and available for printout should a project manager require information such as time, date, work location, product used, water ratio and strength.
The Agilis carries 6 cubic metres of dry pre blended King (Sika) material, 1900 litres of water (that can be heated) and provides 30 cubic metres of shotcrete per hour.
Our system provides precise mixes, reliable mixes, extremely low dust mixes and high production capability due to our units being able to mix on demand whether a client requires 1 metre or 1000 metres of shotcrete/concrete.
RufDiamond has three options available to mix shotcrete/concrete on site.
1. The wheeled mine carrier unit capable of filling shotcrete sprayers in location or pouring concrete where needed as needed.
2. The stationary (with easy portability) mine unit capable of filling trans-mixers as required.
3. The tracked surface unit capable of travelling to areas inaccessible (extreme off-road conditions) to ready-mix trucks.
In addition to the Agilis, RufDiamond is the exclusive distributor of the Fat Truck in Ontario and Nunavut. The all-terrain exploration utility vehicle is unlike other amphibious competitors. It’s built in Canada and has a hydrostatic drive.
There are three main challenges for companies in the exploration business when it comes to reliable utility vehicles: unreliable equipment like pickup trucks, old buses and recreational ATV’s are often used; equipment often gets stuck or breaks down in wet, frozen or rough terrain; and lastly, workers are often being transported to remote areas and managers have to resort to expensive solutions such as helicopters.
The Fat Truck provides an innovative cost-effective, and reliable off-road vehicle. “It’s a robust utility vehicle that can operate for extended periods of time,” explains Adams. “It can safely transport multiple people along with sensitive equipment and instruments on land and through water or any inhospitable terrain.”
RufDiamond says the Fat Truck is perfect for inspections, transmission line work, emergency repairs, tailing pond inspections and environmental units.
Some companies that already use the Fat Truck include Kirkland Lake Gold, Agnico Eagle, BC Hydro, and Hydro-Quebec, HydroOne and others.
The Fat Trucks include heaters, air conditioning, automatic safety brakes, seats with 3-point safety belts, cameras, a bilge pump, ROPS and telematics.
For this article and more read Northern Ontario’s exclusive mining magazine. The summer issue is packed with 100 pages of articles on today’s mining industry happenings. Enjoy.