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.”