Mining operations generate, transport and store petroleum products and other hazardous liquid materials that could result in spillage. Mines must prepare for such incidents and are required to have spill control and clean-up procedures in place.
A completely natural, mineral product called Gunge Spunge® is playing a major role where outdated methods such as sawdust fall short. Produced by South African manufacturer Pratley, Gunge Spunge® is an ideal product for cleaning up any liquid spills, including petrol, diesel, oil, sewage and other hazardous liquid material.
The use of sawdust to clean-up any oil spills is sometimes still prevalent. However, it is dangerous to clean up a flammable material using another flammable material, and in many cases is actually prohibited by local bylaws. “It exacerbates the problem as the disposal and storage of the used sawdust poses a potential fire risk,” comments Pratley Marketing Director Eldon Kruger. In addition, when using outdated clean-up materials like sawdust, soap or solvent is still required to mop up any excess fuel or oil.
Gunge Spunge® Clean-Up Powder is produced from a mineral known as Clinoptilolite, which is processed by Pratley. The mineral is unique in the sense that it is highly absorbent and will absorb all liquids like oils and fuels. In addition, and due to the cationic properties of the product, it is also highly effective in eliminating odours, as in the case of sewage spills.
Simply sprinkle Gunge Spunge® on any oil or fuel spill and it will immediately absorb all of the liquid, leaving a completely clean and dry surface. “Customers are always amazed at how quickly and effectively a spill can be cleaned up, leaving a dry and clean floor. We can truly say that there is nothing else on the market that can clean up a spill as effectively,” asserts Kruger.
It is imperative for mine employees to be trained in spill procedures and plans. Pratley Sales Representatives personally go out to mines to demonstrate the use of Gunge Spunge®, and also to highlight the risk of using outdated methods to clean up oil and fuel spills.
“The growth of Gunge Spunge® has increased exponentially, as we have a lot of mines currently using the product to control their oil and fuel spills, both underground and in surface work areas,” highlights Kruger. The product is also used extensively in fuel-filling and storage areas in underground mines in particular.
This spike in growth is attributed to the fact that more and more mines are becoming aware of the dangers associated with oil and fuel spills, as well as the legal implications of using the wrong methods. Oil spills not only result in environmental issues, but can also pose a risk of personnel slipping and injury.
Gunge Spunge® is sold in 12 kg bags, and Pratley has a quantity-based discount structure in place. “Due to recent increased demand from mines, we have boosted our production and stock levels in our stores,” reveals Kruger.