Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL)

Environmental specialist Matthew Smith with the real-time noise monitoring station commissioned in 2014.

Transitional Environmental Programmes make progress

Five of the eight projects associated with the Alumina Dust TEP have now been completed. This includes work on the ship loader and dust collector to minimise dust emissions from the wharf.

The number of community dust complaints fell from 30 in 2013 to eight in 2014, and the addition of the dust collector has likely contributed to this.

Another improvement made in 2014 was the commissioning of QAL’s real-time noise monitoring station at Barney Point. This instrument allows site teams to accurately track and report on noise levels from the plant and surrounds, in real-time.

Every second, the noise logger takes a reading of the noise level and a recording. The information and sound bite are then sent back to the team for analysis. It also means the team will know when the Environmental Licence noise level has been breached.

Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun

Specialist environmental projects, Barb Tennant delivered a native vegetation area to prevent erosion and reduce dust on site.

Non-compliance reductions achieved

An extensive improvement project was undertaken in 2014 to reduce non-compliance incidents by 30 per cent.

Non-compliance incidents refer to a breach against our Environmental Authority, which sets out the regulatory requirements to minimise the risk of environmental harm.

Lead by the Business Improvement team, the project employed the Six Sigma and Lean methodologies to investigate repeat incidents and identify high risk areas.

Once identified, the project was directed to achieve zero emission exceedances in the Boilers and Calcination. A range of initiatives were carried out in these areas to cut exceedances, such as the installation of new monitoring and alarm systems, equipment modifications, and the development of new competency training modules.

The project was successful, with non-compliance incidents falling from 89 in 2013 to 46 in 2014. We recognise there is still a way to go, and so a similar methodology will be used in 2015 to continue to drive further improvements.