Dust suppression affects not only the health and safety of mine workers, but that of surrounding communities as well. This is according to I-CAT Environmental Manager, Rachelle Botha, who said this was a great concern for water stressed areas like the Western Cape.
Botha said the use of water as a solution to suppress dust was a costly exercise due to the fact that water only suppresses dust for a short while.
She noted that by using dust-suppression systems as an alternative, mining company’s and projects could assist with water licences for mines, reduce their water usage substantially and reduce the long-term costs due to excessive water usage.
She also noted the benefits to the quality of the air on the mine projects and surrounding areas.
“Air quality is not only for mineworkers, but also for surrounding communities and plant life. Breathing in dust can result in a range of occupational illnesses and diseases, depending on the size and composition of the dust particles, their effect on the body, the concentration in the breathing zone of the worker, and how often and how long a person breathes in the dust,” said Botha.
Mining operations are required to comply with the National Dust Control Regulation Act and the National Environmental Management Air Quality Control Act 36 of 2004, which make provision for dust-control management or air-quality control.
“These regulations ensure that mines comply in order to protect mineworkers and surrounding communities in terms of health and safety, as dust emission is an air pollutant,” Botha stressed.
“Therefore, dust suppression on mines is important in ensuring good health and promoting environmental compliance.”
I-CAT has several divisions that focus on many aspects of dust management, such as road haulage, water, and legal and environmental compliance. Most of the company’s products are environment-friendly, and are certified by Eco Specifier.