The shortlist for the 10th Annual Prospect Awards Environmental Management of the Year.
CST Wastewater Solutions
For its unique biological reactor for industry, CST Wasterwater Solutions has been nominated as a finalist for the Environmental Management of the Year award.
CST Wastewater Solutions innovative and pre-engineered Titan membrane biological reactor QUBE developed by Smith & Loveless is over 65 years in the making, according to the company.
Incorporating submerged flat-plate membrane technology to ensure high permeability and flux rates, the combination of these technologies is yielding a dynamic MBR system that provides end-users with high quality treatment performance coupled with minimal operational requirements for applications involving flows in the range of 25-100m3 a day.
The membrane design has resulted in less wear and tear than hollow-fibre types and can easily be cleaned in place. Air scouring prevents fouling and eliminates the need for back-pulsing pumping equipment.
Sand mining ceased at BHP Billiton's Whiskey Swamp operation in South Australia over five years ago.
ODT Australis was contracted to return the site to its natural state which involved reseeding, removing rubbish and scrap and demolishing buildings, rehabilitating the site in the process.
GlencoreXstrata & SKM
Glencore and SKM's Air Quality Control System which is now in place at the miner'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.
Increasing community awareness and government regulations have resulted in heightened pressure on mine operators to implement environmental dust monitoring activities and seen Echotech nominated.
Echotech recognises that while dust monitoring technology hasn't changed too much over the last decade, what has changed is the design of the monitoring station itself, including the use of alternative power and improvements in communication technology.
The company's recent projects in Australia's remote mining regions demonstrate the capabilities of improvements in dust monitoring in order to meet compliance guidelines and to implement dust control activities.
It is these developments that are now starting to provide the real benefits to the mining industry in their challenge to measure and control dust.
Tahmoor Coal Recycled Water Treatment Plant
In 2012, Tahmoor Colliery completed construction and commissioning of a sustainable recycled water management system to service the operation, conserving approximately one million litres of fresh drinking water per day, by treating and utilising waste mine water.
The project involved the construction of a 1 megalitre (ML) per day capacity Recycled Water Treatment Plant, and two 250,000 litre concrete water tanks to supply treated water to the underground mine.
Since May 2013, full-time operation of the plant has demonstrated significant potable water savings, and is an example of our leading practice approach to water management and sustainable development at Tahmoor Colliery.
For technology aiding miners in working smart and more sustainably, Micronics has been nominated for the Environmental Management of the Year award. Micronics' EEMIS is a new way of thinking in the mining machine guidance, environmental and drill rig safety management space.
The product suite uses a spatial engine integrated to a GNSS to calculate where heavy plant is in regards to GDP and heritage sites whilst the operator is creating drill pads or drilling holes.
EEMIS Drill Genie guides drill machines to create drill hole without pegs (virtual pegging) and captures drill hole depth whilst measuring and displaying the distance from any rehabilitated drill holes.
Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) and DuPont
Enlisting the services of Dupont, NCIG has delivered an integrated dust management system at Newcastle's newest coal terminal.
For coal terminals some of the main factors in dust generation are materials handling, weather and moisture balance and control.
This project saw the development of a moisture loss algorithm and dust risk rating system that addresses the weather conditions faced by the site on a real time and predictive basis.
Dust mitigation measures based on the moisture control of the coal were also developed.
Reynolds Soil Technologies
Reynolds Soil Technology has been recognised as finalist for the Excellence in Environmental Management Award for the development of a chemical veneer that helps mines to minimise dust emanating from stockpiles and transfer points.The RT5 Superskin is an emulsion of cross linked polymer for 'non-trafficked' areas.
Diluted at ultra-low concentration in water, the Superskin can be sprayed onto all forms of exposed stockpiles, ground, sand, minerals and tailings to create a flexible veneer, binding particles and minimising dust thrown into the mine's atmosphere.
Superskin is environmentally friendly and poses zero harm to machinery.
Significant Environmental Services
Consultancy firm Significant Environmental Services helps smaller miners and explorers meet ongoing environmental obligations.
Owner operator Matt Holmes fulfils an acting environmental manager role for a fraction of the cost, helping miners become more economical.
Holmes' services have been utilised by the likes of Northern Star at its Paulsens mine and Bullabulling Gold's project.
For the development of a way to control dust and minimise workers' exposure, Tecpro has been nominated as a finalist.
Centennial Coal's NSW Mandalong mine was producing a substantial dust cloud at the point where the coal drops from the crusher to the underground bin.
The dust emissions were causing severe contamination to the intake airflow and the existing dust suppression system wasn't mitigating the issue.
Tecpro's investigations resulted in the fitting of spray nozzles and custom made dust 'droppers' to direct a fine curtain of water inwards from the rim towards the centre crusher, taking with it dust particles from the air.
Vista Gold has been recognised and nominated for the Excellence in Environmental Management award for its rehabilitation and management of the historically toxic Mt Todd gold mine.
Extensive research resulted in Vista Gold's treatment of more than 10.3 gigalitres of contaminated water at the decommissioned Mt Todd mine. It faced a serious issue as the mine was operated when less strict environmental practices were in place. The company identified the importance of the size of limestone used was critical, ensuring that it was not too big that it sunk, and at the same time not to fine that it floated. The process has now been established as an viable rehabilitation alternative.