Savings of A$18M
The mine had significant issues with dust entering the offices and crib rooms. The solution suggested to the mine by one of the large engineering firms was to put a dust shed over the dump pocket.
The project outcomes saved the mine about AUD$18M by searching for and reviewing all dust sources that may be part of the problem, isolating those that were the most significant and then providing tailored solutions for each. A dust shed was not required, simply because it would have provided relief from roughly 20% of the total dust loading.
The solution finally chosen and deployed, was to build a mine waste dump upwind of the dump pocket, which was approximately twice the height of the dump pocket area and this lifted the winds up and over the various dust sources.
Dustiness from a tailings facility
The old tailings storage facility at a mine was being upgraded to provide additional capacity. This work caused significant dustiness from the site, which was impacting the local community. The problem was so significant that the work was halted until a solution, which reduced the dust loading to acceptable levels, was found.
The purpose of the project was defined as follows: “Review the location, its characteristics and the work planned, and then investigate ways to facilitate the continuation of the work, reducing its impact on the local community to acceptable levels.”
The total solution utilised several mitigating measures. They were: the deployment of a chemical veneer from a chemical supplier, hessian fencing erected by local indigenous people, creating work for them, the use of weather prediction information from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for planning purposes, and the deployment of mobile irrigators to deliver water to dampen the area when high wind conditions were anticipated.
Airborne Contaminants / Dust Project list
These are examples of completed projects.
The range of services and skills that can be deployed are demonstrated by the projects described here.
Removal of Improvement Notice
The airborne dust loading, from the stockpile feed conveyor, was frequently exceptionally high, resulting in unacceptably dusty conditions where personnel were expected to work.
A task force was established, which investigated and solved the problem using testwork with specific chemicals, specifically selected sprays at various locations, a moisture analyser, an automated water delivery system, and administrative controls.
The improvement notice was removed once the Inspector was satisfied that the work carried out under the project was successful in meeting the requirements of the Improvement Notice.
Several Pilbara sites assessed and solutions developed in terms of their capability with respect to controlling dust events, including a feasibility study for a multiple site operation (Equipment selection, Capex and Opex estimates, as well as the use of the Johen Dust Risk Matrix). The sites included a port and several mines. In all cases, significant work has been recommended.
Two dust standards have been delivered for clients, one as a rewrite and the other as a new initiative.