Mineral Resources Ltd (MRL) is currently developing its innovative Bulk Ore Shuttle System (BOSS™), a low cost mine-to-port transport solution for bulk commodities and freight with possible worldwide applications. BOSS™ is a rail based transport system that utilises many off the shelf rail components thus increasing reliability and decreasing capital cost. The initial proposed system would use a Perth-based control system and it would have full communication redundancy and 75 km/hr average speed travelling over 300 km. The independently powered ore cars which MRL calls shuttle units each have a 120 t payload. The train itself is only 1.8 m high.
“BOSS™ employs an elevated below rail structure comprising various designs, dependent on ground clearance requirements to satisfy track geometry, hydrology, topography, geotechnical conditions, and grade separation needs. The benefits of the below rail design is that it not only minimises the cut and fill earthworks activities required during construction, but also results in less disturbance to natural landscapes, such as surface water features and fauna habitat, as well as infrastructure, such as existing road and rail. An added advantage for the BOSS™ below rail structure is it is almost completely re-locatable once a resource/reserve is completely exhausted.”
“BOSS™ ore cars are fully automated and autonomous, and have been purposely designed by MRL to allow for continuous movement while loading and discharging. At a fraction of the capital cost of traditional heavy haul rail and road haulage, but maintaining an operating cost that is comparable to heavy rail, BOSS™ is a true low cost haulage solution with the very real potential to open up significant mining assets long considered stranded.”