Noise assessment for a new open cut coal mine
Located in New South Wales, the Mangoola Coal Project will produce up to 10.5 million tonnes per year of run-of-mine thermal coal of both export and domestic quality. The mine has an expected life of 15 years. The project comprises the design, construction and operation of an open cut coal mine together with storage areas, processing facilities, general infrastructure, a rail line and access roads. Noise emissions were identified as an important environmental consideration for the project.
We undertook a comprehensive noise assessment of various operating scenarios across the mine’s proposed life. This assessment included the detailed statistical analysis of meteorological conditions and, in particular, the prevalence of adverse conditions affecting the propagation of noise to surrounding receivers.
Among the noise control measures we recommended was restricting the working elevation of haul trucks and dozers at night to below the maximum elevation of overburden emplacement areas. This was found to offer greater noise mitigation than purpose-built bunding and provided an economically viable mitigation option for the mine. Other control measures included the construction of a noise barrier around a portion of the rail spur loop and a recommendation for a real-time noise monitoring system to aid in the management of noise emissions under adverse meteorological conditions. Xstrata Mangoola Coal has been granted approval and is currently in the establishment and construction phase.