Having been familiar with Soil Solutions approach to the upgrade of gravel airstrips after having worked together during September of 2011 on the upgrade of the Kahama Airstrip located at the Buzwagi Mine, Acacia Mining informed Soil Solutions of their intent to both widen and lengthen the existing airstrip at the Bulyanhulu Mine and once completed to apply EBS (Engineered Base Stabilizer) as a surface seal in order to provide dust suppression and soil stabilization to preserve the finished surface from degradation and loss of fine material as well as to prevent further damage to the aircraft and provide an all weather airstrip.
The Acacia mining airstrip at Bulyanhulu was widened and lengthened using a mix of laterite and rocky gravel to a total length of 1.7 kilometers by a width of 36 meters. Once the expansion of the airstrip was complete it was used for approximately two (2) years without any sealing of the surface. After using the airstrip during this time it was determined that an EBS surface seal would be required as the loose gravel on the surface was causing poor landing and takeoff conditions, creating excessive dust, contributing to unnecessary wear and tear to the aircraft tyres and causing damage to the aircraft during prop wash.
After the EBS Surface Seal the airstrip is now safer for landing and take off, has increased skid resistance, improved pilot visibility, more easily visible FOD, enhanced bearing capacity, is UV and weather resistant, easily maintainable and most important all dust has been eliminated.