Air Quality Management: A Mining Perspective
Free (open access)
Air quality management issues relating to mining are mainly centred around particulate impacts. These include dust deposition, and health impacts associated with PM10 and PM2.5 and the mineralogy and chemical composition of the particles. Generally dust deposition is the focus of mine air quality management, but this is increasingly shifting toward management of the other aspects of particulate emissions as detailed above. Historically air quality management on mines has been hindered by the complexity of all the potential emission sources. This is mainly due to the wide range of source types, the fact that most are diffuse and highly variable in nature, difficult to measure, and site-specific in terms of silt and moisture contents. Environmental factors such as temperature, rainfall and humidity compound emissions uncertainties. Mines are not static, and have continuously changing footprints with respect to haul road location and distance, the size of waste rock and tailings sites, and have varying production and mine development rates. Much progress has been made in estimating emissions, and flexible, user-friendly source inventory management packages are now available to enable the continuous on-site maintenance of source inventories. Dispersion modelling is an integral component of mine air quality planning, and particularly in the mine planning phase where detailed models can be used to inform on the location of certain activities, and the controls required to adequately manage air emissions. A systematic risk-based air quality management planning is proposed to ensure that air quality management is properly integrated into the mining operation, is compatible with community and regulatory expectations, incorporates future mine development changes, and is continuously reassessed and improved to ensure air quality management is optimally managed throughout the life of the mine. Keywords: mining, minerals, ore, air, quality, management, tailings, waste rock, particulate, PM10, PM2.5, dispersion, modelling.
mining, minerals, ore, air, quality, management, tailings, waste rock, particulate, PM10, PM2.5, dispersion, modelling.