Tag Archives: environmental management

Thiess cuts dust and noise emissions at Glencore’s Mt Owen coal mine

Thiess, in partnership with its client Glencore, has come up with a proactive approach to environmental management to ensure dust, noise and blasting emission impacts are minimised on local communities at the Mt Owen coal mine in New South Wales, Australia.

Working together with Glencore, the team has developed a range of controls including leadership training and education sessions, noise and dust risk forecasting, targeted sound power testing of operating equipment and real-time monitoring technology.

Thiess Senior Environment Advisor, Linda Lunnon, said the real-time data enables the 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,” she 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.”

Lunnon said the forecasting systems also allow the Mt Owen team to plan for adverse weather conditions.

“Dust and noise are two of the highest environment risks for our projects in the Hunter Valley, and we are continually monitoring and refining controls that can assist in managing these risks,” she said.

Thiess’ environment team believes engaging its people is critical to effectively managing risks.

“We prioritise continued support and coaching of our people to ensure they understand the context and importance of our environmental controls and can get optimal value from the systems we’ve developed,” Lunnon said. “We educate them on the monitoring of data, trends and how they can apply their knowledge to minimise short-term and longer-term community impacts.”

Thiess Environment and Civil Manager, James Anderson, recognises his team’s ability to stay abreast of emerging environmental trends in industry and legislation to reduce risks and identify and action opportunities for our client.

“Our Mt Owen team works closely with our wider operations in the Hunter Valley to collaborate on solving problems and achieve tailored dust and noise management solutions,” Anderson said.

More broadly, the Mt Owen team works with Thiess’ wider operational and technical teams to design and deliver integrated solutions that optimise overall mining and rehabilitation efforts.

“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.”

Hudbay invests in comminution energy efficiency research with CEEC sponsorship

The Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) has announced new sponsorship from base and precious metals mining company, Hudbay Minerals Inc.

Hudbay, a diversified mining company producing copper, zinc, gold and silver, owns three polymetallic mines, four ore concentrators and a zinc production facility in Canada and Peru (Constancia, pictured), as well as copper projects in the US. Its vision is to be a responsible, top-tier operator of long-life, low-cost mines in the Americas, CEEC says.

CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, said that with growing global demand for minerals such as copper to support the shift towards low-carbon technologies, the need for lower footprint mineral processing was becoming even more critical.

“Rock crushing and grinding can typically account for more than half of a mine’s energy consumption,” she said. “By working together as an industry to understand and optimise comminution challenges, we have the opportunity to improve efficiency and environmental outcomes.

“We’re delighted that Hudbay has joined our list of visionary sponsors, each committed to collaborating with CEEC’s global network of miners, suppliers and researchers to advance efficient, cost-effective, lower footprint mining.”

Peter Amelunxen, Hudbay Vice President of Technical Services, said increasing performance and delivering sustainable value involves a combination of operational know-how and technical sophistication.

“We recognise that collaboration with CEEC is a positive step in our commitment to continuous improvement.”

Amelunxen said Hudbay was particularly interested in “adding a metric to our success” by contributing to the CEEC Energy Curves database. This free tool allows users to benchmark the energy efficiency of sites and visually assess potential energy and cost benefits through various operational scenarios.

“We’ve always approached what we do in terms of improving cost and energy efficiencies,” he said. “However, we’re most excited about using the Energy Curves to quantify, pound for pound, the energy reduction piece.

“This will help inform our decisions around targeted enhancements to existing sites and plan best practice operations in future mines. The bottom line is that this tool will enable us to demonstrate how we are improving environmental management while also improving returns for shareholders.”

David Clarry, Hudbay Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, said data sharing through the CEEC Energy Curves, and broader initiatives such as participation in the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), were important for the industry.

“By being transparent and sharing knowledge, we can learn from each other and find novel approaches for achieving environmental benefits in a cost-effective way,” Clarry said. “Tapping into all the resources that CEEC offers gives us cutting-edge learnings so we can continue to pursue economically viable opportunities to improve energy efficiencies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better manage climate-related risks.”

Keogh said with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting many businesses around the world, Hudbay’s sponsorship during this time was commendable.

“As a lean, virtual not-for-profit, we thank all our sponsors for their continued support during this period of uncertainty,” she said. “This ongoing commitment will help CEEC and the industry to weather the storm and come out stronger and more sustainable on the other side.”

FROSKR to help miners find the right profit and social responsibility balance

BESTECH Engineering has spun off another one of its divisions, with FROSKR, focused on helping companies understand and mitigate environmental impacts before they occur, the latest name to join the Canada-based mining equipment technology and services space.

FROSKR, an INOVINTA Company, comes from the ancient Norse word for frog. The company explains: “FROSKR is a new take on what it means to be confident and compliant when dealing with complex environmental issues. A sensitive indicator species, frogs breathe partially, and drink fully, through their skin. When the environment suffers, so do frogs. A healthy frog population means sustained environmental health and stability. A project with FROSKR means just the same.”

Kati McCartney, President of FROSKR, says the company’s innovative technology and consulting services help clients cut through the complexity of compliance, protect employees and the environment, build confidence in communities, and optimise productivity and profit.

“That means you don’t have to choose between productivity, profit or social responsibility,” she said. “You just have to choose FROSKR.”

The company comes out of BESTECH, which has been providing real-time data with its AQM™ technology since 2003. AQM is an ambient air monitoring system that offers a variety of options for acquiring and distributing data to various environmental and operational stakeholders. The system delivers data rapidly from various field locations providing instant feedback to current and ongoing production systems required to control emissions stemming from operations, according to the company.

In addition to having the support of BESTECH, another INOVINTA Company, the company can also leverage research and development from SHYFTinc, an automation and software-focused entity, and FORTAI, focused on inventory management.

Black & Veatch scales up environmental and sustainability offering

Engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company, Black & Veatch, is expanding its global environmental capabilities and services as businesses respond to increasingly complex demands from regulators, shareholders and consumers, it said.

The expansion comes as companies, utilities and governments navigate a range of COVID-19 related operational challenges and a recent wave of ambitious sustainability commitments. Meeting environmental demands and delivering on sustainability targets, however, requires new levels of innovation and expertise, the company says.

“Black & Veatch’s environmental team includes nearly 200 dedicated scientists, consultants and specialised compliance and permitting experts capable of providing direct service to clients of various scale,” it said. “The team’s vast experience can help stakeholders overcome complexity and reduce program costs by making it easier to integrate environmental considerations at every phase of the infrastructure lifecycle.”

Dave Johnson, co-Leader of the Environmental Services team, said: “Every industry is embracing environmental stewardship, and companies that fail to integrate the right expertise at the right time carry significant business and reputational risks. By collaborating across Black & Veatch, clients will benefit from our dedicated in-house environmental experts, who uniquely understand their environmental risk and opportunities.”

Advances in technology, consumer behaviour and economics are also transforming infrastructure development, according to the company. “The rise of distributed infrastructure programs, which bring data analytics, electricity and other new services closer to the end user, is a major trend influencing new thinking and approaches to environmental risk and compliance strategies.”

Lisa Fewins, co-Leader of the Environmental Services team, said Black & Veatch’s clients want innovative, dependable solutions to better operate in a dynamic global environmental landscape.

“With many clients seeking to more effectively address traditional operating issues, as well as emerging challenges tied to COVID-19, our ability to work across Black & Veatch’s world-class engineering, procurement and construction teams on a daily basis lets us offer faster, more integrated solutions,” she said.

Black & Veatch says it offers more than 80 existing environmental services across five prominent categories including: environmental air quality, remediation, management, compliance and science.

Fewins said: “We are taking a leading role in partnering with innovative technology providers to support our clients with cutting-edge solutions, as well as helping clients plan, scale and manage environment requirements.”

In addition to traditional environmental services across air quality, site remediation and advanced water solutions, Black & Veatch says it is an industry leader in the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and renewable solutions, including solar photovoltaic and wind energy.

“The company is also helping advance sustainability and environmental goals for mining companies, data centre providers and many more industries,” it said.

SLR bolsters APAC mining and minerals business with NRC buy

Environmental and advisory solutions firm SLR has acquired Northern Resource Consultants (NRC), a 25-person team of environmental specialists based in Townsville, Queensland, Australia.

NRC will bring considerable additional capability and geographic coverage to SLR’s existing Asia-Pacific (APAC) business, particularly in relation to its focus on the mining and minerals sector, SLR said.

NRC’s services include environmental approvals, compliance, hydrogeology, hydrology, hydro-geochemistry, soils, environmental monitoring, ecology and mine closure and rehabilitation.

SLR’s APAC business, led by Paul Gardiner, will now be 260 strong with 12 offices across Australia and New Zealand. Marty Costello, NRC’s Director and Principal Environmental Scientist, will join the SLR APAC management team and take on the role of APAC Regional Sector Leader for Mining & Minerals.

Neil Penhall, SLR’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to bring NRC’s capabilities into SLR. I am sure Marty and the team will strengthen SLR’s position in the mining sector and bring significant additional value to our business.

“Our business in APAC has grown strongly in 2018 and NRC will only add further to that. This is also the first acquisition we have made since Charterhouse Capital Partners came on board as our external investment partner earlier in the year, so is an important first step in progressing our growth plans in the coming few years.”

Marty Costello, NRC’s Director, added: “We are looking forward to joining the SLR team and adding NRC’s talents to the business. We all recognised very quickly how well the two businesses fit together in terms of culture, clients and capabilities, so I am confident our combined future is bright.

“The extensive range of services SLR already provide in APAC will benefit our clients and I am equally excited by what we can bring to SLR’s existing clients.”

SLR provides professional services to the mining, minerals and extractive industries, with its team having been involved in projects covering a diverse range of minerals. Some of its clients include Glencore, AngloGold Ashanti, BHP Billiton, Newmont Gold, Wolf Minerals, Sibanye-Stillwater, Resolute (Carpenteria Gold), Whitehaven and New Hope Group.