Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group employs an award-winning management system to control dust emissions from the facility. We call it the Integrated Dust Management System.

Overview

Management of dust from the Newcastle Coal site is a highly critical part of terminal operations. Dust management is carried out primarily by wetting of coal stockpiles and unsealed surfaces, as well as enclosed plant design and controlled work procedures.

Conditioning of coal through water addition is a simple and effective way of preventing dust generation from exposes surfaces. This is applied through both conveyor sprays and stockyard sprays. The activation of stockyard sprays is controlled through a real-time meteorological station feed and ongoing weather forecasts.

Stockyard sprays in operation at the Newcastle Coal Terminal
Stockyard sprays in operation at the Newcastle Coal Terminal

Outcomes

Since the optimisation of the dust related equipment, dust mitigation procedures and air quality systems and the implementation of the Integrated Dust Management System (IDMS), Newcastle Coal has seen the following:

  • Reduced dust emissions
  • Improved the handling of adverse weather conditions. The system has been shown to manage what can be considered extreme risk conditions for dust emission and turn them into non-events where the airborne dust levels are similar to low risk conditions
  • Improved the day to day dust management
  • Improved water management. Water is used only when needed, effectively and efficiently
  • Consistency across operations in the site. The IDMS provides common language and improves understanding of the dust issues
  • Improved productivity. Operators do not have to spend time analysing weather conditions, making judgments and having to respond. This is now done automatically by the IDMS
  • Reduced the chances for human error and impacts of inexperienced operators
  • Improved confidence in the dust management systems which in turn allows the site to operate at its highest efficiency
  • Provides company and community confidence, which validates Newcastle Coal’s social licence to operate

Newcastle Coal has received recognition from the broader industry for its Integrated Dust Management System, including the Mining Prospect Awards (Excellence in Environmental Management) and Australian Bulk Handling Awards (Dust Control, Technology, Application or Practice).

Future Initiatives

Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group is committed to continuous improvement in the way it manages the environment, including air quality. New and evolving technologies are being trialed regularly, and those that are effective are being integrated into our management system.

Read more about our Operation Dust Management Plan.

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