Wednesday, 2 December 2020
Fit-for-purpose weather forecast to improve dust management
Austmine Limited
/ Categories: Case Studies

Fit-for-purpose weather forecast to improve dust management

Proactive tools for managing Mine Dust Risk

A Weather Intelligence Successful Case Study

“The DustX Toolbox report is used daily by all of our key stakeholders. The product very accurately predicts when the dust pollution risk is high and produces a simple to read report. Armed with this information, we are able to make swift operational decisions at the start of every shift.”

Environment Superintendent

Shortcomings of Off-the-shelf weather forecasts for Mining Operations

The orebody is still actively mined for Silver, Lead and Zinc at this location situated in a dry climate. The mining operation is located very close to the town and residential areas. This provides several challenges to mining operations including managing the risk of mine generated Dust Pollution which can be both a nuisance and a health risk to humans.
Timely information is critical for managing and controlling the mining activity generated dust and minimising disruption to the operations.
However, publicly available weather information or weather apps fall short for mining operators for two reasons: the data is general and it is not interpreted to the operator’s needs.

Tailored Weather Forecasting for Proactive Risk Management

DustX in Action

Weather Intelligence focuses on understanding the operator’s needs, provides a fit-for-purpose solution to forecast relevant data and present it in a meaningful way. DustX generates a site-specific Dust Risk forecast. Factors such as receptor location, wind speed and direction, and dust liftoff index are used to generate an hourly risk forecast for the site.

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Figure 1- DustX Toolbox report

 

 

 

 

 

Dust Risk Under Control

 

 

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Figure 2- The Weather Intelligence Difference



Widespread adoption of DustX by all the stakeholders has resulted in the mine being able to get a better handle on the approaching risk of dust pollution. During forecast high risk periods, the mine will typically schedule alternative work such as maintenance to avoid dusty activities. Some of the perceived results are:

  • More than 46% reduction in disruptions to operation

  • More than 30% decrease in alarms generated by the boundary dust monitors

  • Simpler and more effective decision making

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