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New technology that has been used for the last three years at a mine in the Bowen Basin has saved 50 b-double loads of truck filters from going to landfill.

Six years ago, Maven Greentech came up with the AirX Robot System which is a robot-driven air filter cleaning system tailored for heavy vehicles.

The system has been used at Glencore’s Hail Creek coal mine for the last three years. At the mine, up to six filters can be placed on a conveyor and they’re cleaned and integrity-tested within five hours by a robot. The robot also runs diagnostic tests on the filters before and after they’re cleaned.

Up to 99 per cent of the dust from large diesel filters can be removed which in turn can extend the life of the filters by up to 25 times.

Director and Founder of Maven Greentech, Graham Heilig, said when he started the project his goals were saving the environment and saving customers money.

“But mostly I had to be able to save the company money as the environment side of things because the main thing for big companies is to save money. If you can save the environment as well then that is a huge win,” he said.

By using the AirX System, Hail Creek has been able to recycle their filters five times over, significantly reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, reduce carbon emissions, as well as the cost and emissions associated with transporting the filters to and from the mine.

“All of the filters come up from Sydney so that’s nearly 2,000km, which means by the time a filter gets from Sydney to Queensland that’s a huge amount of cost that’s been added onto it.

“You have to transport them to site, then offsite to get dumped into landfill and you’re paying for all of that,” said Graham.

So far, Hail Creek has saved over $1.9 million since implementing the system and they estimate they will save $900,000 per year going forward.

“Generally, the cost for our technology per filter is about a third of what it costs and that’s just the straight cost of the filter, that’s not including getting to site and the dumping of it so if you added all of those fees into it the cost is around a quarter,” Graham explained.

Dave Waddell, Operations Manager at Hail Creek said they’re thrilled by the technology they’ve been able to implement.

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“Since implementing the AirX Robot System, our operation has been able to reduce landfill waste, improve recycling and enhance warehousing storage space.”

The AirX Robot System has been recognised nationally, winning the Australian Mining Prospect Award for Excellence in Environmental Management and Sustainability.

The recognition made the team at Glencore’s Hail Creek mine even prouder to be pioneering the technology.

“We’re thrilled that the AirX Robot System, pioneered by Maven Greentech and implemented as a world first pilot at our Hail Creek operation, has received the Australian Mining Industry Prospect Award for Excellence in Environmental Management and Sustainability.

“This award reflects a shared commitment to achieve and maintain the highest standards of health, safety and environmental performance, and we extend our congratulations to the team at Maven Greentech on their fantastic achievement,” said Dave.

The national recognition will help Maven in the next step of their business – making it even bigger.

“At the moment we’ve got other machines to go out to site, we’re at a point where we are looking for investors to take it to the next level,” said Graham.

He believes they are entering the market at a good time with the emphasis on Environmental Social Governance (ESG).

“If companies say they are doing ESG, the regulator is making sure companies are doing it. You must talk and walk; you can’t just be all talk now.”

After the success at Hail Creek, Graham said he receives up to four enquiries a week for the AirX System and he expects there to be even more in 2024.

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