AQC recently purchased and commissioned an Attex MTP-5 atmospheric temperature profiler, giving us data and insights into atmospheric conditions that can impact on air quality in Mount Isa.

The MTP- 5 was sourced from Russia and is the only operating unit of its type in Australia. It allows AQC to accurately measure air temperatures at various altitudes up to 1000 metres above Mount Isa Mines' operations on a continuous basis.

Oxygen particles emit microwave energy at a specific frequencies, with the intensity of these signals changing as air temperature increases or decreases.

The unit passively detects this radiation by scanning at different angles from the horizon and with clever software calculates air temperatures at different heights.

Matthew Meere, Senior Air Quality and Noise Advisor says while operation has just commenced, it is expected that the information from the equipment will assist AQC in determining the stability of the atmosphere above our operations.

"In particular we will be able to determine the time of the 'inversion break' more precisely, an effect which can result in the sudden onset of adverse conditions for smelting operations, and also determine the height and rate of atmospheric mixing as the day warms up," Matthew says.

Overall the MTP- 5 will assist AQC in determining the right times to take action to reduce stack emissions and better assess the risk of excessive Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) in Mount Isa.

The successful demonstration of the use of the MTP-5 is expected to result in application of the technology to other Glencore mining and smelting operations to manage their environmental impacts.