Hunter coal mine fined for excessive dust

 The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure has fined Vale’s Integra coal mine for excessive dust on site.

It comes just a month after the same mine received penalty notices for exceeding blast overpressure limits on site.

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.

On 24 February the Department issued a $3000 fine to the Vale mine near Camberwell for generating excessive dust in the western extension of its south pit.

The miner was reportedly pushing soil over the western highwall and allowing it to fall 100 metres to the ground below.

Integra has previously come under fire for excessive dust on site, receiving a fine in October last year,

The Department says the mine stated it is "committed to actions to prevent future dust incidents".

Peabody Energy’s Wilpinjong coal mine, near Mudgee, was also fined after it reportedly disturbed a known Indigenous site during the construction of a haul road.

Rio Tinto’s Mt Thorley Warkworth coal mine saw compliance officers visit the site to help the operation comply with changes needed ahead of its expansion project, in particular dust and noise management issues.

During February the Department’s Singleton office received 36 complaints overall, an increase from the previous 28 in January.

The majority off the complaints related to noise, from the Mt Thorley Warkworth mine in particular.


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