BHP has spent over $400 million to manage dust from pit to port, leading to a significant reduction in dust events over the last eight years.
The company has chosen to improve road conditions, the reliability of its water supply and availability of the dust equipment as part of its dust mitigation initiatives.
BHP has also installed fogging sprays in conveyor belt transfer shoots and a dust wall while investing in dust extraction equipment.
“One of our key improvements is the pit-to-port moisture control where we try and put the right moisture at the right point as early in the supply chain as we can,” a BHP employee said.
Another employee said,” We’ve travelled the world to see what best practice is.
“We work very closely with our specialist teams across the whole of the industry, our port and our mine teams, to really understand how we can mitigate that risk.”
BHP stated that it employed around 2000 people at the Port Hedland operations and supported thousands of families whose businesses and jobs rely on the company.
An average of 500 million tonnes of trade goes through Port Hedland in Western Australia each year, 270 million tonnes of which were BHP’s exports of iron ore last year.
“Honestly, dust is the second thing we speak about every morning. Second only behind safety,” BHP manager port production Matt Simpson said.
“My three kids live here, my wife lives here, so I have a vested interest to ensure we’re managing any impact on the communities in which we operate in.”