Open Cut » Overburden Removal
The purpose of this project was to investigate the dissemination of outcomes from recent JKMRC ACARP projects, namely C5005 "Controlling Coal Damage due to Cast Blasting" and C5008 "Optimisation of Dozer Operations in Open Cut Mines"
Both these projects were released with computer workbook programs, innovative technology transfer software developed by the JKMRC. One of the project's primary aims was to establish how effective this software has been in transferring project outcomes to the industry, and to explore ways to improve it.
A series of seminars was run in both the Hunter Valley and the Bowen Basin to -
- Summarise the findings of the two previous projects.
- Assess the extent to which the industry has absorbed project outcomes.
- Evaluate the success of the computer workbook concept.
- Identify current problems in cast blasting and dozing, nominate site champions and promote future work.
The following conclusions were made -
- The best form of technology transfer remains fieldwork at a host site with equal participation by researchers and the local engineers.
- The industry appears well aware of the C5005 Cast Blast and C5008 Dozer Optimisation findings. Sites that had been involved in the fieldwork continue to use the technology and, in some cases, have extended it. All the mines represented at the seminars would consider adopting project outcomes if they represented a cost-effective solution to a particular problem.
- The most effective alternative to direct field involvement in technology transfer appears to be the informal workshop-style seminar. The C8040 seminars themselves were successful technology transfer vehicles in their own right, promoting a lively interchange of ideas.
- Mines are happy to pursue related problems, such as coal block movement in overburden blasting, through the ACARP process. Bulga Coal elected to support a JKMRC ACARP proposal in this area, rather than commission consulting work.
- The presenters felt that the ACARP system is working. They would rate the combination of practical field projects and workshop-style seminars as effective in disseminating new technology. Seminar participants appeared to understand the issues and were prepared to discuss them openly, in marked contrast to the attitudes encountered in the mid-nineties.
- The computer workbook is an excellent tool for presenting project results in workshops.
- The dissemination of workbook CDs with the project report is less successful. There are problems installing, configuring and using the software. Many of these were uncovered during follow-up installation work at Ravensworth Mine.
- An alternative of a CD-based, read-only workbook was evaluated. However, it is felt that this would compromise the program functionality to an unacceptable degree. Furthermore, running the current workbook program totally remotely is impossible. It would be necessary to totally rewrite the software. This would require resourcing outside the scope of the C8040 Technology Diffusion project.