BHP Mt Arthur Coal has received the Industry Excellence Award at the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand (CASANZ) Innovation and Excellence in Air Quality Awards.
The awards were presented at the CASANZ conference in Queenstown, New Zealand which brings together delegates from a variety of disciplines within the air quality industry. The Industry Excellence Award is given to an organisation that is having a demonstrable effect improving air quality.
In the Upper Hunter, mines are subject to heavy scrutiny when it comes to high airborne particulate levels. In the ongoing drought conditions the visibility of dust is increasing at a noticeable rate.
Mt Arthur Coal has been working closely with regulators (DPIE and EPA), their community consultative committee and mine neighbours, to identify dust problems and find practical solutions. As a result the mine has developed a new Dust Control System using the latest technology. This system involves an extensive network of real-time dust and meteorological monitors, which trigger alerts via a Business Intelligence Platform when the risk of airborne particulates is high, enabling timely decision-making on site and rapid determination of dust sources.
Kris Sheehan heads up Mt Arthur Coal’s Safety & Environment team and explains the benefits of the system.
“Firstly, it’s a simple system that is easy to operate. One of the main advantages we have seen is a marked increase in our effectiveness responding to dust issues. Our alerts are down by 80%. It’s accuracy and capability far exceed what we had before. It also provides much more detailed information such as dust path trajectory and determining where the dust is originating from,” says Kris.
“We also have a series of high-resolution cameras which reduce the response time of investigations. It’s a big site here and by using the cameras we can identify the problem quickly. With all this information we are in a much better position to implement the best controls rapidly.”
Kris says that BHP is looking to roll out the new system across other Australian sites, and is also sharing its advantages with neighbours Mount Pleasant and Bengalla, which continue to work with them on dust management.
“What’s really great about receiving this award is that it recognises the joint efforts of many teams working together. I don’t think this award has ever gone to a mining company before, so we don’t just see it as a win for Mt Arthur Coal, we see it as a win for the industry.” says Kris proudly.
Good. Better. Best.
Hitachiâ€™s range of mining excavators is a dominant force in Australia. With six machines in their mining line up, they have a solution for every size and type of mine, from the versatile 120t EX1200-7 excavator through to their EX8000-6 weighing in at a whopping 837t.
Available in backhoe and face shovel configurations, these machines are highly regarded and operate globally. Instantly recognisable in their distinctive Hitachi orange, youâ€™re most likely to find the EX2600, EX3600 and EX5600 backhoes working in the Valley.
Sitting in the sweet spot of Hitachiâ€™s diggers is the EX3600. A stalwart of the Australian mining industry, Hitachi has deployed locally over 100 of these 370t excavators since launching the EX3600-5. Now in its third iteration, the Japanese manufactured EX3600-7 is Hitachiâ€™s latest generation machine built upon industry feedback and the Companyâ€™s learnings in the field to produce more fuel efficient product for customers.
In a development immediately broadening the appeal of this excavator, miners now have an option of power plant with both the Cummins QSKTA60 or MTU 12V4000 on offer.
Combined with improvements in the machineâ€™s hydraulic system, operators can reasonably expect reductions in fuel consumption between 4 â€“ 7% compared with the previous model (the EX3600-6 with Cummins engine configuration). Further, intelligent management systems including main pump electric regulators on each individually controlled hydraulic pump as well as, a hydraulic regeneration circuit, permit this machine reduced pump demand, enhancing engine power, lowering fuel consumption and increasing productivity.
All too aware of the detrimental effects of dust and moisture ingress, Hitachi has introduced slit-less solid conduit harnesses and junction boxes. In the instance of damage, electrical harnesses between junction boxes can be replaced individually, ultimately reducing maintenance time and cost. Likewise, the cab riser now features a pressuriser system to minimise dust infiltration and extend the service life of electronic components within.
Improving upon a product that customers already like, the hydraulic hoses between the boom and main piping have been rearranged from an arch to underslung configuration removing the need for clamps, reducing deflection and increasing reliability. And I could go on, with features too numerous to contemplate in this article.
Find out more today by contacting your local Hitachi representative or go online at https://hitachicm.com.au/products/excavators.
THANKS TO COMPONENTS ONLY, OUR HEAVY EQUIPMENT EXPERTS
NSW Leads Nation with New Facility
Australiaâ€™s only independent underground mine explosives testing facility has opened at Freemanâ€™s Waterhole NSW.
Paving the way for improvements in mine safety and innovation in the mining industry, the new testing facility is under the control of the NSW Resources Regulatorâ€™s Mine Safety Technology Centre (RR).
The facility, which is discreetly built on the site of a quarry to reduce impact on the surrounding environment, will be used to determine if locally made explosives are viable and meet vital safety requirements to protect the wellbeing of workers.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro recently launched the first round of explosives testing at the new facility and stated that it positions NSW as the nationâ€™s leader in mine safety development.
â€śCurrently, there are few explosives that can be used in underground coal mines and these kinds of explosives have a very short shelf life, they donâ€™t travel well and need to be developed and tested locally,â€ť Mr Barilaro said.
The RR is responsible for regulating the mining industry in NSW, which includes work, health safety matters through to environmental issues such as mine rehabilitation.
Anthony Keon, Executive Director of the Resources Regulator said the new testing facility is critical to ensure that people can have confidence in the materials and explosives being used underground. â€śThe establishment of this facility will ensure that weâ€™re not stifling innovation,â€ť said Anthony.
â€śIt will give industry and explosive manufacturers access to this test which has previously been unavailable for almost decades.
â€śThere are limited facilities of this type throughout the world and because of the limited shelf life on these products we really need something locally based in order to open up those opportunities for NSW companies and for the NSW mining industry.â€ť
â€śWhat the test is trying to do is ensure that explosives when used properly donâ€™t ignite methane; and weâ€™ve seen through numerous incidents throughout the world and even recently in Queensland the ramifications of when there isnâ€™t an ignition of methane.â€ť
Geoff Slater, Manager at Mine Safety Technology Centre said the development of explosives specifically for underground coal mines started back in the1890s at the Greenwich Naval Facility London. Early tests used a small bore cannon and this influenced majority of test facilities since that time.
â€śThe facility at Freemans Waterhole uses concrete culverts and water bags to reduce the noise emissions during testing,â€ť said Geoff.
â€śExtensive computer simulations were used to determine the best optimum use of the water.â€ť
Test rounds at the facility will be scheduled to meet the needs of industry, at up to two to three times per year, restricted to work hours on weekdays.
Students Have A Yarn
St Jamesâ€™ Muswellbrook welcomes a newly constructed yarning circle thanks to the generosity of Malabar Resources.
Fully funded by Malabar, the Yarning Circle will give students and teachers at St Jamesâ€™ Primary School in Muswellbrook the opportunity to sit together and enhance their understanding of Indigenous culture.
A Yarning Circle is an important part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and a harmonious and collaborative way of communicating. It promotes respectful relationships and provides an open environment to share cultural knowledge.
In August Malabar designed and installed the Yarning Circle which involved the placement of more than 5000kg of sandstone blocks.
Malabarâ€™s Manager of Health, Safety, Environment and Community, Donna McLaughlin said, â€śWe are delighted to continue building our relationship with St Jamesâ€™ and other schools in the region by providing resources that help their specific needs.â€ť
â€śWe look forward to seeing the Yarning Circle develop as native plants and artwork are added to the space, which will further facilitate cultural learning and understanding.â€ť
The new space was enthusiastically received by students. â€śThank you for this amazing and respectful area where we can teach others about our customs and traditions,â€ť said year 6 student Tushawn.
St Jamesâ€™ Aboriginal Education Teacher, Tania Thompson expressed how thankful they are to have a designated place for our CREST Crew to meet and yarn.
â€śWhen we meet as a whole group from K-6 around the Yarning Circle, it gives students the opportunity to bond, form strong ties, and unite as one mob,â€ť she said.
â€śCommunicating, sharing and problem solving as a team are some of the extremely important life skills that we refine when meeting for Yarning Circle.â€ť
â€śWe learn to listen to one another and to respect the ideas and opinions of others regardless of their age, as we all have wisdom to share.â€ť
St Jamesâ€™ will use the Yarning Circle as an extension of their classrooms and teaching practice to foster knowledge of Indigenous culture by engaging both indigenous and non-indigenous students and teachers.
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