Adequate environmental protection and safety measures are taken as per the Australian standards. The mine manager has implemented environment monitoring program for the surface water courses and swamp that may be affected by proposed mining. The program is developed to fulfill all environmental regulations and is drawn in consultation with Sydney Catchment Authority. It incorporates necessary and appropriate rehabilitation measures for any observed adverse impacts on the streams and swamp. The Company has taken steps for controlling the growth of weed and has undertaken flora and fauna assessment in the region to identify any potential impact of development on threatened species, populations and ecological communities and develop management recommendations to minimize any identified impacts.
Wollongong Coal has a competent and effective management team which has all the expertise required to operate and manage the mine. It has highly skilled and experienced personnel in all areas encompassing management, engineering, marketing, processing, etc. who have a strong understanding of key mining and production risks and have taken measures to manage and mitigate those risks as and when identified. A mine operation plan has been developed that addresses these risks.
Risk Management & Safety
The Company is committed to safe and disciplined extraction of the coal resources within the colliery. It has complied with all regulations and has obtained necessary approvals from the required authorities, the Sydney Catchment Authority, the Dam Safety Committee, and the Environment Protection Authority, etc. to carry on the activity. For example, for the mining activity that is carried out within the DSC notification zone, all the monitoring activities as per DSC are met and complied with. Similarly, the mining activities undertaken within the notification zone in the catchment area are in accordance with the conditions stipulated by Sydney Catchment Authority. Internal and external audit and review protocols have been established for emergency management plan, in conformity with relevant standards, regulations and guidelines.
The company has professional trainers for identifying training requirements and ensuring that necessary and appropriate training is carried out. The bulk of the training requirement is identified by the mining regulatory bodies and is carried out by in-house trainers. All training has to comply with the conditions set out in the mine’s Training Policy. The employees also undergo safety training which includes OHS Consultation, Mines Rescue, First Aid, and Risk Management.
Risk Management & Safety
Wollongong Coal believes that safe work practices give way to higher productivity through a workforce that is free of injuries and diseases. Although the company has all risk management program in place, there may be events that are unpredictable and cannot be wholly prevented. For this, the company has adopted an Emergency Preparedness Management Plan for underground and surface situations. The plan identifies the possible emergency situations such as underground fires, open fires on the surface etc. and outlines the procedures to be carried out in compliance with all relevant standards. Evacuation drills are conducted and necessary safety provisions, for example, fire fighting equipment and first aid facilities are provided. The plan also assigns responsibilities for the operation of the procedures and establish audit and review protocol for the plan.
The ventilation system is designed to provide a safe and comfortable working environment through the dilution of seam gases and control of dust, and care is taken to maintain the condition of the ventilation apparatus and the effectiveness of mine ventilation system.
Security is of utmost importance within the mine area. With elaborate security checks in place, only authorized personnel are allowed entry to the mine. Areas posing safety risks are inspected and appropriate warning signs are put up.
Adequate environmental protection and safety measures are taken as per the Australian standards. The mine manager has implemented environment monitoring program for the surface water courses and swamp that may be affected by proposed mining. The program is developed to fulfill all environmental regulations and is drawn in consultation with Sydney Catchment Authority. It incorporates necessary and appropriate rehabilitation measures for any observed adverse impacts on the streams and swamp. The Company has taken steps for controlling the growth of weed and has undertaken flora and fauna assessment in the region to identify any potential impact of development on threatened species, populations and ecological communities and develop management recommendations to minimise any identified impacts.
The Company has initiated measures for monitoring of environment, particularly in relation to water quality. At the Russell Vale site fresh water is supplied from Sydney Water’s town supply. Extensive use of recycled water at the site is standard Company policy and is undertaken at every opportunity. For this purpose, many measures are practiced such as storm water harvesting, retention of water pumped to the surface from underground etc. Recycling of water at No. 4 Shaft is practised along with water harvesting from the bath house water treatment facility, the car park areas and roof catchments. The recycled water is used for a wide range of purposes including dust suppression underground and on the surface at Russell Vale, truck washing, road cleaning etc. Sulphur water is treated before discharging from site, in order to meet externally set standards.
The waste management policy mainly comprises of the disposal of general waste into a bulk waste container, which is collected by a contractor and taken to a Council waste facility. Waste oil and greases are periodically collected by an authorized contractor for disposal and/or treatment off site. Scrap steel and waste paper from the administration section are usually segregated and collected for recycling off-site. Rubber/old conveyor belts are kept on site.