Remote site construction is an art. Miners often look to pre-engineered tensile fabric structures as a flexible and practical alternative to conventional permanent structures.
These structures need to be designed for quick installation, dismantling and easily relocating from site to site.
Australian company Universal Fabric Structure (UFS) have been working in this space for some time.
It recently completed two projects that required a unique approach to mining camp construction.
Oil Search needed a series of tensioned membrane structures to completely envelop its isolated camp at a remote mining encampment located in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.
The covers had to create a dry and mold free environment over accommodation and recreational areas for the mining personnel.
Importantly, they had to be transportable for use in remote areas as shipping methods and logistics had to encompass its movement from Papua New Guinean ports to the highlands via helicopter.
It designed and supplied multiple Rapid-Span container mounted structures and an Alu-Span-AH for fast installation, with the camp containers providing a foundation without modification.
In Australia, UFS was also tasked to design shelters for Australian Portable Camps (APC) who required a weatherproof shelter for a vehicle quarantine and fumigation area for a WA mine.
UFS developed it with the use of pre-engineered ‘Rapid-Span’ container mounted structures. Using a double stacked container option and accessories to include a partial end-wall and weather curtains, a 10m wide by 60m long structure was designed.
Open gaps of 12 and six meters were allowed for on the right hand wall of the structure to enable vehicle entry and exit access.
Weather curtain systems enclosed all internal and open sections so that it could be closed for fumigation.
Using fabric structures that can be moved and re-used helps companies when it comes to environmental bond retirement as structures can be removed easily and quickly at the end of the mine’s life, allowing the biological system to be returned to a sustainable and resilient state.