Press Release: June 5, 2020

Australian mining and civil services firm Global Road Technology (GRT) is utilising its experience in reducing the air pollution produced by Australia’s largest mining sites that are situated in some of the world’s harshest conditions as a template to assist in the global efforts to reduce airborne disease.

A tightening of national legislation in the wake of recent deaths from silicosis and Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis (CWP) caused by airborne diseases and the subsequent new government guidelines to reduce risk has required the country’s mining and resource sector – which are key drivers of economic growth – to reduce air pollution caused by their activities.

Dust, caused by the often-dry temperatures and lack of rain during parts of the year, is a major contributor to airborne disease and having a significant impact on both onsite workers and the communities that they are situated near.

That’s why GRT has developed products, solutions and services that provide an alternative to the most common dust control method to date – untreated raw water – that due to the scarcity of freshwater, Australia’s often extreme temperatures, ongoing operating costs due to inefficiencies (rate of application versus evaporation) and environmental concerns is less than ideal.

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GRT Managing Director, Troy Adams, believes that the often harsh conditions that the firm operates in combined with the strong Australian legislative environment, has provided the impetus for the firm to innovate and adapt as it seeks to protect workers and communities by utilising technology to create more efficient materials and methods than just water.

“Australia’s often harsh climate has given us the opportunity over the past decade to develop products and solutions that address the issues of water scarcity and provide an effective and efficient solution to reduce airborne pollution,” said Mr Adams.

“The previous method without using GRT based solutions typically requires a water truck to regularly apply water on the common surfaces of the mining operations to manage to keep surfaces dust-free and stop its spread. Academic studies have determined that watering once per hour only results in a dust control efficiency of about 40% while increasing the application rate to every 30 mins or 15 mins will only increase the dust control effectiveness to 55% and 65% – meaning that despite the significant use of water, labour and machinery you are still not really managing the problem to its full extent.”

In response to this issue, the GRT engineering team have specifically formulated and designed dust suppression technologies that not only address these challenges and disadvantages but also provide key benefits.

GRT also used the renewed focus by the Australian federal and state governments who’ve strengthened the legislation regarding air pollution for the purpose of ensuring companies have comprehensive dust control management strategies to invest in their own practices, solutions and services to establish the firm as a world leader in the battle against air pollution – based on stringent standards of reducing PM10 – particulate matter (a human hair is about 100 micrometres).

GRT mining dust suppression

It is also using the guidelines outlined by Safe Work Australia, the national policy body responsible for Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) laws, who has instructed Australia’s state governments to halve the occupational exposure limits (OEL) for silica dust to 0.05 mg/m3 and further reduce the OEL for other mineral dust from 2.5 mg/m3 to 1.5 mg/m3 to ensure its products meet these requirements.

GRT General Manager Mr Daniel Grundy believes that as the global demand of mining commodities continues to increase, the need for effective, safe mining operations will grow reciprocally.

Our products and services are designed for the purpose of meeting stringent Australian safety and environmental requirements and by doing so they meet the needs of clients in regions with naturally challenging geographical, climatic and ecological conditions,” Mr Grundy said.

“In the past, effective mining operations were reliant on innovative mining technology; the challenge for operators as more information comes to light around the consequences of airborne pollution, not only on mining operations and equipment but also human health, the now exists in the area of dust control. In servicing the Australian mining sector and meeting the stringent government requirements, we’ve developed products that not only improve safety and are environmentally beneficial are beneficial for the environment, they can also save our clients operations millions when compared with traditional practices.”

According to Mr Grundy, these benefits are helping to drive growth as the global economy and its supply chains start to shift gear as some countries begin to exit lockdown.

“The benefits our products provide to clients alongside the fact that our supply and manufacturing chain is based in Australia – meaning that we are experiencing no disruption from the COVID_19 pandemic on production – is helping to fuel worldwide demand with exports to New Zealand and the Middle East in just the last month,” said Mr Grundy.

Source: USA Today Classifields

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