A completely natural, mineral product called Gunge Spunge® is playing a major role in cleaning up any liquid spills, including petrol, diesel, oil, sewage and other hazardous liquid materials on mine sites where outdated methods such as sawdust fall short, according to South Africa-based manufacturer Pratley.
The use of sawdust to clean-up any oil spills, while sometimes still prevalent, is in many cases prohibited by local bylaws due to the flammability potential.
“It exacerbates the problem as the disposal and storage of the used sawdust poses a potential fire risk,” Pratley Marketing Director, Eldon Kruger, said. In addition, when using outdated clean-up materials like sawdust, soap or solvent is still required to mop up any excess fuel or oil.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, according to the company. 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.
“Customers are always amazed at how quickly and effectively a spill can be cleaned up, leaving a dry and clean floor,” asserts Kruger. “We can truly say that there is nothing else on the market that can clean up a spill as effectively.”
To ensure mine employees are 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personally go out to mines to demonstrate the use of Gunge Spunge, and also to highlight the risk of using outdated methods to clean up oil and fuel spills.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,” Kruger said. The product is also used extensively in fuel-filling and storage areas in underground mines, in particular.
This spike in growth is attributed to more and more mines 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, Pratley said.