Mining and Environmental Noise - Preventing Problems Professionally

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
As an environmental "pollutant", noise is different. For one thing, it is localised (as opposed to transfrontier) and, for another, relatively low levels can trigger very strong human reaction. The reactions, which are annoyance-based, range from mild to violent and do not always correlate well with the levels experienced. This paper draws on technical aspects of noise to consider control and control principles and balances them with the subjective nature of the perceptions and reactions. It is critical to bear in mind that health effects resulting from noise are secondary to the primary human reaction. It is also important to appreciate that annoying noise levels are usually well below those which cause hearing loss. Large mines tend to be remote from cities and towns and the country surrounding such mine sites is often inhospitable. In general, residences near large mines are committed for use by mine personnel and annoyance from mining noise would be rare. Noise problems at long term operations are often a result of secondary activity or land use. As a pioneer mining community develops, secondary and service industries may be established and a township created. With changes in way of life, the perception of problems also changes. Therefore, it is never too early to plan for noise abatement, particularly because noise is only one of a number of environmental and community concerns. Ihny environmental problems are associat- ed with development or expansion of smaller open cut facilities such as hardrock quarries. There is an ever-present need to reduce product cost by mining or quarrying deposits close to the end user and many local authorities have to operate quarries for undertaking their civil engineering responsibilities.
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