In 2020 air pollution resulting from mining operations became a major mining industry discussion point across Australia. State Government’s reacted by implementing a raft of legislative reforms in the wake of media reports that linked poor air quality in regional communities situated in close proximity to mine sites. Recent media reports from Western Australia revealed a range of dust-related events such as monitoring failures and excessive levels of particulate within the nearby communities. To its credit, the Australian mining industry reacted with a focus on suppressing dust at its source to reduce the potential of harm for workers and communities.
For Australian headquartered mining and civil services firm Global Road Technology (GRT), these incidents emphasised the importance of a comprehensive and holistic approach to dust suppression. Through a range of dust control innovations, GRT has utilised the latest technologies that mitigate the dangers of high levels of particulate that ensure that even microscopic levels of dust are controlled sufficiently to reduce their impact on people.
GRT General Manager, Daniel Grundy believes that prioritisation needs to be placed on implementing the most advanced dust
suppression products and services at the very source of the pollution. Any incidence of air pollution has negative effects on mining
communities and has the ability to jeopardise the social and environmental licence that mining companies have – in addition to potentially forcing governments to tighten legislation even further.
“It is known that long-term exposure to high levels of dust pollution can place extra load on the body with a particular impact on the
respiratory system and that some people who live within mining areas that are impacted by high pollution face a higher probability of having lung issues and cardiac-type symptoms” said Mr. Grundy.
Daniel Grundy, GRT Technology
“That’s why mitigation is so critical with the core focus needing to be on controlling/eliminating dust by engineering controls at the point of generation – capturing dust, eliminates the hazard. Our approach is driven by the utilisation of the latest dust suppression technology developed in our purpose-built manufacturing facility, engineering techniques, and just as importantly the usage of data analytics and ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) devices to allows us to monitor in real-time the efficacy of our products in reducing the immediate hazard and ensuring we can continue monitoring the site in real-time to act on any changes in environmental conditions that may require a change in tactics.”
Australia’s arid conditions – particularly in the parts of the country that is home to much of its mining activity – exacerbate the problem
as the lack of rainfall allows the dust to spread from the site much more quickly and can rapidly increase the dust particulate levels above the recommended amounts. The country’s mining sector is aware of the scale of the issue with BHP alone planning to spend $300 million over the next five years across its Pilbara operations in an attempt to reduce the impact its operations have on the local communities.
Some experts see this expenditure as critical as for the miners to operate in a socially responsible manner in relation to how they impact
the communities that exist close by.
For Daniel Grundy the ongoing controversy around the impacts of mining on the health of workers and communities validates the
investment the firm has made from an R&D perspective in range of innovative chemical additives and associated hardware designed
specifically for managing and controlling mining dust to ultimately protect workers on mining sites, nearby residents, and landholders from airborne dust pollution and disease.
“Our products and services are designed for the purpose of reducing the impact of airborne dust on people and operations,” Mr Grundy
“These products and their applications are guided by the GRT approach that is based around understanding the risk, and controlling or
even eliminating dust by engineering controls at the point of generation. We have developed a specific range of products including the
GRT: Haul-Loc, GRT: Activate, GRT: Ore-Loc, and GRT: Wet-Loc that adhere to these principles of either controlling the release of the
dust or stopping its spread from the point of generation that requires a holistic, whole-of-site approach to ensure maximum effectiveness and to protect the health of workers and communities.”
About GRT | Controlling mining dust
GRT is an Australian owned company with an international footprint that provides revolutionary solutions to deliver better and safer
infrastructure and operational outcomes across the roads, resources, and rural sectors. GRT products and applications have been developed by their own team of engineers and scientists, working in partnership with leading industry and academic institutions. GRT’s technology can be applied across a broad range of materials and environments to create durable, safe, and sustainable infrastructure and operations.
Visit globalroadtechnology.com for further information about controlling mining dust, the company and its extensive product range.