IT was “lights, camera, action” at Mangoola Mine in September as the Glencore site hosted production of the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue’s “Windy Day” educational video.
The video is being made to explain the results of the dialogue’s successful Weather Forecasting Project, which helps mine operators to predict potential problematic weather and put in place work practices to minimise the impact of dust caused by wind.
With a working title of “What Happens at Mines on a Windy Day”, the video will illustrate and explain how Upper Hunter mine sites alter their operations to minimise dust.
Dialogue chairman David O’Brien said mining companies and government regulators recognise that dust emissions from mining activities can be a serious issue if not closely monitored and effectively controlled.
“The mining industry works very hard to manage air quality each and every day,” he said.
“Minimising dust is a part of daily work procedures at Upper Hunter mines and is the responsibility of all mine workers.”
Each mine operates an extensive network of air quality monitoring stations in and around each mining operation that provide up to date data in real time.
These monitoring networks are supported by the Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network; an industry funded, government managed realtime ambient air quality monitoring network.
One achievement of the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue is the consistent use of weather forecast information to reduce or avoid air quality impacts from Upper Hunter mines.
“By using weather forecast information, mines plan ahead and make better informed decisions about managing air quality at their operations,” Mr O’Brien said.
“If adverse conditions are forecast, measures are put in place to minimise the impact.”
Such measures include but are not limited to:
* Postponing blasting to avoid unfavourable wind conditions;
* Closing elevated exposed working areas, and operating only at lower levels;
* Limiting traffic to main haul roads;
* Wetting dry areas by using water carts;
* Reducing vehicle speeds to minimise wheel generated dust; and if necessary,
* Ceasing operations until conditions improve.