Rio to install new noise monitoring systems at Mt Thorley Warkworth

Rio Tinto is trialling new ‘cutting edge’ noise monitoring systems at its Hunter Valley coal mines for real time management of noise.

The new directional noise monitoring system will be installed in the southern area of Bulga village in the new few weeks to monitor and manage operational noise from Rio’s Mount Thorley Warkworth mine.

The technology, the Environmental Noise Compass, will be added to its existing system of eight noise monitoring devices around the site, six at its Hunter Valley Operations, and two at Bengalla.

Created by Acoustic Research Labs, the ENC uses 26 microphones and advanced acoustic signal processing methods to detect and assess multiple noise sources in real time.

Mt Thorley Warkworth general manager Cam Halfpenny said the mine is constantly looking to improve the ways in which it manages its activities on site, and is “proud to be the first mine to utilise this new technology”.

“We understand noise can be an issue for our neighbours; investing in this cutting edge technology is another demonstration of our commitment to continuous improvement and effective noise management.”

Noise alarms will be established at the site to alert the operation of elevated noise levels, which will be responded to in the same manner is the site does within its current noise monitoring network, such as relocating equipment or in some cases shutting equipment down.

Mt Thorley Warkworth has previously come under fire for exceeding noise limits.

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