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NSW Minerals Council awards for excellence

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A finalist at the NSW Minerals Council’s Community and Environment Excellence Awards, Yancoal’s Molarben coal project has been commended for its noise minimisation program.

Despite operating within compliance levels, the noise reduction project was launched in May in response to community feedback. The miner teamed up with Komatsu and Duratray to implement a solution for its 218 tonne truck fleet that would help to reduce noise impacts.

The new rubber wall and floor liners on the dump truck body are designed to reduce first pass loading noise.

The additions cost the company more than $2 million.

 “The initial trial showed a measurable noise reduction during loading of rocks into the trucks, so the company expanded the trial to a fleet of four trucks,” Moolarben Coal general manager, John Blanning said.

“The highly commended award is recognition that Moolarben Coal is setting a new industry bench mark for environmental noise reduction impacts on the community.” 

Dubbed the “stealth fleet”, Blanning has previously said the new trucks would set a “new benchmark” for environmental noise reduction impacts on the community.

The new range of trucks commissioned by Moolarben is just one step in a holistic approach to reducing noise at the mine.

Improving the air quality impacts across its operations has also seen Glencore take out the Environmental Excellence award at last week’s ceremony.

Glencore’s Air Quality Control System which is now in place at the company’s six New South Wales open cut operations is helping to minimise the impacts of blasting, air quality and noise on the company’s neighbours.

The company has set up a dedicated website and sends out daily emails containing information about weather and wind conditions as well as dust and noise risks that is used to plan daily mining activities.

Glencore’s general manager of environment and community, Dave O’Brien, said the initiative, while adopting a proactive approach to managing air quality and noise impacts, has also raised awareness of its importance across the entire workforce.

 “Our Environment and Community team created the program, but our workforce has successfully taken it from concept to coalface,” O’Brien said.

Glencore last month received a notice to clean up a huge cement spill in a Sugarloaf State Conservation Area in the lower Hunter.

The spill happened in June when the company was carrying our remediation of mine subsidence harm.

Commenting on the environmental accident O’Brien said it was “regrettable” but the company is committed to “operating in a safe and responsible manner”.

BHP Billiton’s Mt Arthur coal mine was also recognised on the night for its Warrae Wanni Pathways to School program, a school readiness program which helps develop the social skills and learning opportunities of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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