Noise sentinel – a proactive approach to noise management in mining operations at BHP Billiton Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd

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BHP Billiton Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd (BWAPL) consists of mining operations located near the town of Boddington, a 51km conveyor linking to an alumina refinery located in Worsley and a port load out facility located in Bunbury. BWAPL mining operations expanded in 2012, resulting in mining operations taking place much closer to a number of residential properties in the community and closer to the township of Boddington. Given the proximity of the mining operation to these sensitive receptors, noise was identified early on as a high risk to the operations that needed to be proactively managed to ensure that BWAPL’s environmental and social licences to operate were maintained.

BWAPL adapted Brüel & Kjær’s Noise Sentinel monitoring system to monitor noise generated by mining operations and ensure that the impact on near neighbours was minimised. This was achieved by incorporating alert systems that allowed for proactive management. This paper will cover the compliance parameters required to be measured; the adaptations applied to the software and the key project challenges that were overcome.

On the basis of the experiences gained and the positive outcomes achieved through implementing the Noise Sentinel system, BWAPL received a Highly Commended award at the 2013 BHP Billiton Health, Safety, Environment and Community Awards in the Environment category. Keywords: Mining, Environmental Noise

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