Coal miner fined for blast

 A Hunter Valley coal miner was fined $3000 last month for exceeding blast noise limits.

Vale Integra’s open cut coal mine near Camberwell received the penalty notice for exceeding overpressure limits in late December.

The blast reportedly just exceeded the 120 decibel limit, recording 125.16 decibels.

According to the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure, the mine has a history of blasts exceeding the overpressure limits, and was forced to issue the fine.

In response to the fine, Vale Integra Coal will now modify its stemming gravel loading practice so that enough material is placed on top of the charge to stop gravel being ejected during the blast, reducing the risk over overpressure.

It is also looking to carrying out mitigation measures at the residences nearby.

During the month, the Department received 28 complaints overall, consisting 21 for noise, three for dust, two for blasting, one for odour, and another for other compliance conditions.

According to the Department, breezes and low cloud cover contributed to noise transfer from the mines.

Of the 21 noise complaints, 18 came from Bulga residents regarding Rio Tinto’s Mt Thorley Warkworth mine.

The number of complaints in January was more than double the number of complaints recorded in December.


Image: Singleton Argus


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