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Wirtgen machinery vital to Nova Nickel project

Two infrastructure specialists are employing a range of high-tech Wirtgen Group-manufactured asphalt machinery on WA's Nova Nickel project.

Two infrastructure specialists are employing a range of high-tech Wirtgen Group-manufactured asphalt machinery on WA's Nova Nickel project. At the Nova Nickel Project in the Fraser Range, RJ Vincent & Co and AAA Asphalt have deployed a large collective fleet of Wirtgen Australia-supplied machinery.

Both strong, long-standing Wirtgen Group customers, the two Western Australian companies are working across several facets of this large scale nickel-cobalt-copper underground mining operation.

AAA Asphalt director Frank Italiano and contracts manager Dave Adams utilised 19 crew members to operate their Vögele paver and Hamm roller fleet, as well as run a mobile Ciber asphalt plant and truck material to site. The team also consisted of a lab technician who kept a close eye on the mix as it was produced.

Easily mobilised, the Ciber asphalt plant can be making top quality asphalt for the company’s many clients within just four hours of assembly.

Mr. Italiano says the portability of the Ciber asphalt plant has meant AAA Asphalt can operate more efficiently, with a greater degree of flexibility for the client.

“Being able to mob and de-mob the plant makes it easy to turn around quick two-to-three day jobs.

“This works both ways because it keeps our operational costs down and it also keeps our customers happy because we’re in and out; the job’s done in no time at all and we’re off to our next project.”

The mix made in the Ciber plant is destined for the project site runway, which boasts a total width of 36 metres (30 metres wide, with 3-metre shoulders). The runway is 2 kilometres long, while the AC14 mix is 40 millimetres thick, for a total of 7000 tonnes laid.

Weather was of concern during the project; however that didn’t stop the AAA Asphalt team. With a few rain delays they got in and got the job done on time. In fact if the weather had worked in the infrastructure team’s favour, the work would have been completed well ahead of schedule.

Despite the elements failing to cooperate on occasion, Mr. Adams says Wirtgen Australia’s expert back-up support remained second-to-none.

“The expertise at Wirtgen Australia, from a management level to the factory and workshop, is of a very high standard.

“No issue is too difficult and support is available when required, no matter what time of the day or night.

“The team at Wirtgen Australia in Perth is a great bunch of people to deal with and I’m looking forward to continuing the great relationship that we have with them,” he says.

Meanwhile, RJ Vincent & Co runs a Wirtgen WR240 soil stabiliser on the project. This high-tech machine is wet mixing the project’s new air strip, as well as haul roads and access roads.

The WR240 is capable of injecting water, emulsion or foam bitumen and is able to work up to 1700 square metres per hour, making this is a key machine for the construction of roading infrastructure.

For compaction, the RJ Vincent & Co crew are utilising the all new Hamm 3625HTVC vibration crusher roller. The first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, this unique machine from compaction experts Hamm is purpose-designed to crush rocks and compact with a 50-tonne pick point loading per pick in-situ on all roads.

Additionally a grand total of six Hamm 3520P vibratory compactors are working alongside the 3625HTVC on compaction duties all over the mine site.

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