Thiess, Glencore leverage real-time dust control

Looking over the Mt Owen site. Image: Thiess.

Thiess has worked with Glencore to develop a range of controls that ensure the impact of dust, noise and blasting at the Mt Owen coal mine in New South Wales is minimised.

Dust and noise are two of the highest environment risks for Thiess’ projects in the Hunter Valley, according to Thiess senior environment advisor Linda Lunnon.

The companies have developed noise and dust risk forecasting, sound power testing of operating equipment and real time monitoring technology to manage the risks.

Lunnon said the real time data enabled its operational team to monitor dust and noise levels and respond swiftly to changing weather conditions.

“Paired with regular visual inspections, the technology provides further guidance throughout each shift, enabling our leaders to readily modify operations as needed,” Lunnon said.

“The system also triggers SMS alerts to relevant personnel if dust or noise levels reach a defined threshold.

“This provides a prompt for operational staff to reassess controls and implement further actions if required.

“Our forecasting systems also allow us to plan for adverse weather conditions.”

Lunnon said Thiess prioritised on coaching its people to ensure correct understanding of the context of its environmental controls and how they could work optimally.

Thiess environment and civil manager James Anderson added that Mt Owen team worked closely with the company’s operational and technical teams in the Hunter Valley to develop the solutions.

“Each project leverages our global insight to provide local value, with our head office team offering industry-leading environmental insights across each of our operating countries,” Anderson said.

“Our proven experience managing the full suite of environmental services on mine sites ensures we continually deliver exceptional outcomes for our clients.”

Thiess has been operating Glencore’s Mt Owen coal mine since 1995.

The mine processes up to 8.6 million tonnes a year of run-of-mine coal.