We work through advancements in technology and engineering, operating procedures and monitoring to continually reduce emissions that can impact on air quality.
Since 2011, we have undertaken works and projects valued at more than $5 million to improve air quality management.
Mount Isa Mines currently utilises a comprehensive range of methods to minimise potential impacts from sulphur dioxide emissions from the MIM operations. These sulphur dioxide management measures include:
- Significant sulphur dioxide reductions through the capture of sulphur dioxide from the Copper Smelter operations and its supply to the Incitec Pivot Acid Plant which has reduced MIM's annual sulphur dioxide emissions by more than 50% since 1999.
- Air Quality Control (AQC) Centre processes which involve continuous and proactive management of MIM's smelting operations by AQC to reduce the potential for sulphur dioxide impacts on the Mount Isa community.
- Establishment of a dedicated meteorological model for Mount Isa (Weatherzone) through a 14-day weather forecast specific to the MIM site to identify potential adverse meteorological conditions.
- An Emission Forecast and Control System to provide a real-time web-based modelling system which forecasts ground level sulphur dioxide concentrations based on stack emission rates and weather modelling.
- Shutdowns of the Copper Smelter and Acid Plant on a regular basis to enable upgrades to improve off-gas collection and treatment systems.
- Continually reviewing and improving the AQC operations to achieve improved air-quality outcomes.
In addition to sulphur dioxide management measures, MIM implements a comprehensive real-time and predictive dust management system. The key components of the dust management system are:
- Predictive and reactive actions to minimise dust emissions from operational areas.
- An on-site continuous dust monitoring network that alerts our Environment and Operational teams of high concentrations.
- A continuous metals analyser to measure hourly metals in particulate concentrations assisting with analysis of elevated levels.
- A materials identification system to analyse air quality monitoring data to determine the potential source of the emissions based on metal assays.
- Monitoring cameras used by AQC for sulphur dioxide controls which also have the potential to be utilised in dust monitoring.
- Continually reviewing and improving our dust management practices to achieve improved air quality outcomes.