EarthZyme – Paving a New Way for Haul Road Construction


The use of environmentally friendly EarthZyme soil stabilizer can dramatically reduce costs associated with the construction and maintenance of new haul roads and the stabilization of existing haul roads.

EarthZyme is a concentrated blend of enzymes, electrolytes and surfactants that produces significant engineering improvements on suitable soils. After an application of EarthZyme, soils with high clay content have shown to yield higher densities, increased CBR (California Bearing Ratio) values, and reduced permeability and expansion. EarthZyme works on clay based soils, stabilizing them to comparable strengths of traditional aggregate haul roads, therefore resulting in significant cost savings in expensive raw material inputs such as coarse sand and gravel, which are not required when a soil is stabilized with EarthZyme. Specifically, a study conducted in the Athabasca Oil Sands displayed that building haul roads with EarthZyme was both cheaper and faster than traditional gravel construction.

This report will go into greater detail regarding the advantages that EarthZyme can provide when introduced on a large scale to any mine site. Further to the cost savings in raw materials, emphasis will be placed on the reduced maintenance costs and requirements that introducing EarthZyme to a road construction project exhibits through the long term stabilization and improved engineering characteristics of the stabilized soil. EarthZyme has a diverse application history; from humid climates like Southern China or tropical Latin America to the arid Gobi Desert of Mongolia or West Africa to the extreme climate of the Northern Alberta Athabasca oil deposits. The most challenging of these, in terms of climate and road requirements, has been the Athabasca oil deposits of Northern Alberta. The consistently low temperatures and high levels of precipitation combined with the extreme weight of the haul trucks, 400-700 tonne loaded weights, required to mine the deposit was put to Cypher as a challenge in 2009. Cypher eagerly met this challenge, and our industry partners have successfully reduced the cost of all-weather haul road construction while exceeding industry standards.

EarthZyme soil stabilization has been successfully used in a variety of road construction projects. Specifically a thoroughly studied project in Ecuador, EarthZyme treated soils were determined to yield a significant reduction in swell (170 % reduction) and increase in CBR (51 %). These changes in soil properties, due to treatment with EarthZyme, are consistently reported and long lasting even through the product is >90 % biodegradable within 28 days. Several examples of reductions in swell and increases in CBR will be given in this report, ranging from 51% to as high as 353% increase in CBR values.

This report will also include an explanation of how EarthZyme will benefit any mine site that has suitable soil types available, what EarthZyme is composed of, and how it works.

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