Emissions monitoring, control and impact reduction strategies are a major component of sustainable environmental management at MRM. Our emissions monitoring system is essential for compliance, baseline data and to demonstrate our effectiveness with improvements.
Air emissions are generated from blasting dust, truck movements, loading and unloading ore and overburden, as well as from metals naturally occurring in the soil.
Other emissions come from our power station and vehicles including sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
Because our mine is in a remote location 65 km from the nearest urban development, and there are no other industrial developments in the area, the concentration in the air of these emissions is minor.
Our air quality management plan includes a number of safeguards such as:
- water sprays across work zones and unsealed areas to suppress dust
- dust control equipment installed on all major plant and equipment generating significant dust
- watering or using synthetic cover sprays on exposed surfaces and stockpiles as required.
A network of gauges around the site monitors dust levels in the air in line with the Australian Standard AS3580.10.1. The gauges measure dust deposition and suspended particulates. Results are considered in conjunction with meteorological studies of wind, rainfall and temperature.
We also conduct an annual survey of base metals in the soil on site.
We have been monitoring our output of greenhouse gases on site since 1998. The main source of emissions is our electricity generation plant, while some emissions are also produced through the use of diesel and other fuels as well as open pit blasting.
Emissions from electricity generation are kept relatively low through the use of natural gas-fired turbines, one of the most greenhouse gas efficient fuels available.
We manage our greenhouse gas emissions by:
- participating in the Greenhouse Challenge Program and improving reporting on emissions management
- improving energy efficiency on site
- continuing to use natural gas as our energy source for electricity generation.