Rio Tinto will be moving a significant level of production from Open Pit to Underground Operations, and as such is researching means to increase development rates below surface. As part of this research Rio Tinto initiated a study into faster support installation times through the use of a spray on liner product.


Testing of differing drift liners was conducted at Xstrata’s Nickel Rim South Mine, over the course of twenty fully monitored rounds. The first system utilized “standard” shotcreting practices using a conventional Marcotte shotcreter as the base line. A second system utilized a thin membrane liner supplied by BASF using an autonomous Meyco unit in order to compare the effectiveness of the Meyco system.


The project was completed, with a final report delivered in June 2010. The report is currently available to solution team members.

Solution team

  • Fred Delabbio, Rio Tinto
  • Allan Akerman, CEMI
  • Ken Wolle, Rio Tinto
  • Pierre Labrecque, Labrecque Technologies Inc.
  • Peter Golde, Vale
  • Lester Kneen, Xstrata Nickel