CASE STUDY | When Busy Mining Operations Impact a Local Community

Supplier: Rotech Group
11 February, 2020

Heavy-duty haul trucks access the public highway every 20 mins, passing through a township, to the loadout facility. Rotech boom gates play an essential role in controlling access to the mine sites.

Commencing operations in 2018 this central Qld coal mine is now moving coal 24 hours a day, with up to three trucks an hour doing the round trip between the mine and train loadout facility.

Impact of mine traffic on the township

The 75km round trip involves the haul trucks collecting coal at the mine site, travelling along the dirt access road, joining the main highway, passing through the local township, driving on to the rail loading facility then returning empty via the same route to the mine for the next load.

During peak times heavy-duty trucks leave and enter the public highway as often as every 15-20 minutes making the management of site access a high safety and security priority.

Infographic: Haul truck route between mining operations and loadout facility

Secure Coast Solutions designed a customised access control system with two key objectives:

  1. Maximise the safety of the general public, and
  2. Maintain the efficiency of mining operations.

Protecting the public

  • Preventing unauthorised people from driving down the bi-directional dirt road that enters the mine site was a priority.
  • The mine operators had special permits allowing passage via the highway and through school zones. 
  • As the trucks run 24 hours a day restrictions are in place on the frequency of haulage operations depending on the time of day.

Maximising haul road traffic efficiency

  • To reduce travel time, fuel usage and vehicle maintenance the haul trucks need to access mine areas without stopping. 
  • Dirt roads meant safety loop detectors or PE beams weren’t suitable vehicle detection options.
  • Access was also required for maintenance and other mine personnel.
  • Power was not available at the entrance to the loadout facility.
  • Mine operators wanted to be able to monitor the location of all trucks along the haulage route.  

Efficient Practical Solution in Action

Haul Road Boom Gates in Action

  • Boom gates were installed to prevent unauthorised vehicles from entering mine access roads.
  • Haul trucks were fitted with long-range RFID tags.
  • When 10-15 meters of the boom gate, long-range readers mounted on card reader stands, detect the tags and open the boom gate.  
  • Radar safety devices hold the boom gate open as the trucks pass.
  • When the radar is clear the boom gate automatically lowers a few seconds later.
  • Dual height card reader stands allow access vehicles without RFID tags.
  • The mine control centre monitors the location of each truck and other traffic.
  • The boom gate control system sends an alarm to the control centre if a truck doesn’t reach its destination within an hour after leaving the mine site.
  • Communications are achieved using 4G routers providing internet access over the mobile phone network.
  • Bionik AG automatic boom gate’s easily programmable multi-function digital controller allows for the varying traffic flows.
  • Six 120W solar panels were installed to provide power for the entire system. Additional battery storage allows the solar panels to provide enough power for up to 4-5 days depending on the weather.
  • LED strip lighting on the boom gate arms and illuminated card reader posts provide increased visibility and safety during night works.


Why the Bionik AG Boom Gate was the best choice for the job

“This is a busy, intensive use situation requiring high levels of safety and reliable operation.  The Bionik AG boom gates are low in maintenance, fast to activate and are robust and reliable. 

LED lights illuminate the boom arms and the electronics are inside a well sealed enclosure protecting the components from coal dust.  All equipment chosen is 100% duty cycle and high temperature rated so it can be used as often as needed. The Bionik AG Automatic Boom Gate featured everything needed to do the job.”

                                                             Stuart Bryant – Secure Coast Solutions


Rotech's Bionik AG Automatic Boom Gates
Designed for high-volume traffic control situations, these boom gates are ideal for locations without mains power and offers many advanced features providing smooth operation, instant reversing, superior safety sensing, tough 100% duty cycle and low power consumption.

Rotech’s Bionik boom gates are tough, reliable, cost-effective and easily configured for different locations. 

For more information about this or other safety and security combinations for your site call Alan Roberts at ROTECH via the form on this page.