Glencore’s Ravensworth open cut operation has been recognised for its safety initiatives in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.
The team conducted a project that successfully monitored gas levels in blast plumes, which was a first in the industry.
They pioneered the use of a gas monitor that is mounted on a drone to fly through blast plumes. This aims to track the level and rates of gas dissipation, particularly nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
Glencore’s Greater Ravensworth coal mines general manager Steve Hubert said, “The monitoring will provide the industry, our regulators and our communities with greater assurance of our blast management process.
“Importantly, the monitoring has also shown that no NO2 has left the site in more than 50 blasts that have been monitored to date.”
The team was also recognised for an engineered solution to remove crusher teeth at its coal preparation plant.
It developed a technique that employs hydraulic power to dismantle equipment, saving maintenance workers from performing the onerous task using sledgehammers.
Hubert said, “This is an initiative that will improve health and safety of employees, not only across Glencore’s operations, but others in the coal business as well as many other industries where this crushing equipment is in use.”
Operations manager Tony Morris stated on the Ravensworth website, “A key focus for Glencore has always been ensuring the safety of the workforce. We continue to investigate and implement new safety systems and controls to minimise the risk to employees.”
The Ravensworth open cut mine is a joint venture between Glencore (90 per cent interest) and the Australian subsidiary of Japan’s ITOCHU Corporation (10 per cent).