Green solutions for sustainable mine management

The CRC SmartWasher parts cleaner is based on the principle of bioremediation.

CRC Industries, the sponsor of the Mine Manager of the Year award at the Australian Mining Prospect Awards, offers safe and green solutions for the mining sector.

Best practices in mine management involve, as a key factor, having a clear program to manage the environmental impacts of mining-related activities.

CRC Industries, as the sponsor for the Mine Manager of the Year award at the 2020 Australian Mining Prospect Awards, provides a range of solutions for managers of mining companies and mine-related industries that help minimise these impacts.

As a global supplier of lubricants and specialty products, including a range of non-toxic and non-flammable industrial cleaning formulations, environmental safety and the safety of people are key focus areas for CRC Australia, national marketing manager Simon Hatton says.

“Among the so many factors involved with managing a mine, safety is perhaps the most important component,” he says.

“That is why a key priority for us at CRC is to constantly, and closely, work with customers around our research and development (R&D) capabilities to find safer solutions for the sector.”

R&D collaborations between CRC and its customers often lead to identifying new products and solutions that the sector can use to enhance safety and efficiency, Hatton says.

“For example, when our customers recently came to us with requirement for surface sanitisers, our Australian R&D team used the experience and expertise of CRC’s New Zealand division to deliver on those requirements,” Hatton says.

While CRC is a global supplier with over 26 facilities across the world, CRC Australia has been manufacturing products locally at its Sydney manufacturing site for over 50 years.

This, according to Hatton, is an important factor in enabling CRC to react quickly to the immediate needs of customers, without relying on a global supply chain.

“The mining industry is very heavily regulated sector and there are multiple standards of safety to be met. Being connected to a global R&D team helps us remain updated on the latest global changes in safety requirements and to bring those solutions to the local market,” says Hatton.

Part of CRC’s innovations to improve safety at mine sites, Hatton says, has been through developing non-flammable and non-toxic alternatives for a range of industrial cleaning products.

These include, among other products, the CRC NF Contact Cleaner, which is a clean-in-place aerosol solution to remove contamination from precision electrical/electronic equipment.

CRC has also released a water-based bio-degreaser, which is a biodegradable formula for fast and effective cleaning of engines, parts, bearings, motors, generators and other similar equipment.

“CRC’s water-based bio degreaser is not caustic and completely safe to use, both for the personnel working on the site as well as for the environment. By comparison, if a solvent-based degreaser is used, the maintenance staff would need to use the relevant personal protective equipment (PPE),” Hatton explains.

In June, CRC Australia will launch a new aerosol-based oil stain remover that makes it easy to manage oil spills on the site, further enhancing personnel safety on mine sites and in other applications.

“The traditional oil stain removers are sold in bulk packages of 20 litres or more. The aerosol-based cleaner that CRC will be launching is a wet formulation that absorbs the oil from any tiled or concrete surface quickly and efficiently,” says Hatton.

The CRC NF Contact Cleaner removes contamination from precision electrical/electronic equipment.

The CRC SmartWasher parts cleaner is another CRC product that Hatton says aligns completely with the company’s focus on environmental safety.

SmartWasher is based on the principle of bioremediation – a biotechnological process that uses microorganisms or plant enzymes to detoxify contaminants.

In CRC’s SmartWasher, a specialty formulation, known as Ozzy Juice, is used to clean oil and other contaminants – ensuring zero risk of skin irritation or environmental hazard.

This focus on personnel safety reflects how CRC, as a company, has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic’s health and safety concerns, Hatton says.

“Our global head office is based in the US and they enacted safety regulations against COVID-19 risks very carefully and proactively. By having all of our office staff working from home and putting our on-site personnel through relevant safety trainings, we have been able to maintain a business-as-usual engagement with our customers despite the situation,” he says.

Hatton says the mining industry’s move towards more environmentally-friendly solutions is a key reason why CRC supports the Prospect Awards.

“We absolutely support the Awards as a way of remaining engaged with the mining industry and ensuring that our R&D capabilities are aligned with the sector’s changes,” he says.

“In the mining sector all over the world, now more than ever there’s a focus on implementing greener solutions. And as a market leader working in this space, we see it as our responsibility to always walk a step ahead.”

This article also appears in the June edition of Australian Mining.

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