New Hope is committed to the sustainable development of all mining lease areas under its management. Best practice environmental planning is incorporated into all phases of our projects, from development and exploration to eventual closure. All activities at New Acland are delivered under the strict conditions and requirements of its Environmental Authority (EA) as granted by the State.
Environmental planning is incorporated into all projects
Key features of New Acland’s environmental sustainability agenda include noise limits, air quality, land management and water management.
Priority is placed on local employment, including the use of local suppliers and contractors, alongside a generous community sponsorship program. These measures ensure that sustainability goes beyond environmental management to account for a more holistic approach to New Acland’s role and contribution in the local community and wider region.
2016 ABA100 Winner of the Australian Business Award for Sustainability
New Hope Group’s unique approach to achieving a sustainable, economically productive and environmentally healthy post mine landscape has been recognised nationally by being awarded the 2016 ABA100 Winner of the Australian Business Award for Sustainability.
The award, which recognises organisations that execute initiatives demonstrating leadership and commitment to sustainable business practices, was a result of New Hope’s submission outlining how it integrates a unique combination of three activities into daily coal mining operations at its New Acland mine.
Those activities being;
- Scientific cattle grazing trials on rehabilitated mined land
- Environmental conservation, protection and improvement works to revegetate buffer zones along local waterways to create koala habitat and wildlife corridors, and
- The use of recycled water for mining activities
You can read more about these activities in New Hope's submission to the Australian Business Awards here.
New Acland benefits from one of Australia’s most ambitious and practical land management programs, led by the Acland Pastoral Company (APC).
Established by New Hope in 2006, APC provides a progressive rehabilitation program to return mined land to agricultural and conservation uses while contributing to the region’s agribusiness industry.
To date, about 400ha of land has been rehabilitated. Innovative cattle grazing trials and a local tree species planting program are also in progress. There are about 2,000 head of cattle on 4,000ha of land and cropped wheat, sorghum, barley and legumes on 2,400ha.
Cattle Grazing Trial Reports
Current mining operations at New Acland use recycled water from the Toowoomba Regional Council’s Wetalla wastewater reclamation facility.
Under the proposed continuation plans, the operation will continue to be self-sufficient for mine water supply by purchasing water from the Wetalla facility via an existing pipeline.
The $30 million pipeline and pumping system, from Wetalla to the mine, was funded by New Hope. Only about 20 per cent of Wetalla’s water is purchased by New Hope with the majority of the water currently discharged down Gowrie Creek and available to local irrigators.
Operations also use wastewater from the Oakey township’s reverse osmosis water treatment plant, saving money for Oakey ratepayers.
The New Hope Group is committed to responsible environmental management and continuous improvement across all phases of our projects and operations.
We understand our noise management practices are an important area of interest for our near neighbours and local communities.
Without appropriate mitigation, noise can become disruptive to day-to-day life. In order to reduce and remain responsive to potential noise issues, the New Hope Group continuously monitors noise and vibration from our current operations and adapts our practices where required.
What is noise and how is it measured?
Noise consists of sounds that travel through the air as a series of waves. Different sounds have different characteristics which change based on their amplitude (loudness) and frequency (pitch). Different sources of noise can be distinguished by the character of the noise and by the level a noise exceeds the ambient, or background, level.
Noise is measured using a Sound Level Meter which measures the change in pressure associated with the sound waves and the frequency range. Noise is measured in decibels with an A-weighting adjustment applied to simulate the response of the human ear (dBA).
Can weather affect noise?
Because noise travels through the atmosphere (air), meteorological conditions (weather) can increase the level of noise. Temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity and cloud cover all have varying affects the level of noise.
Temperature inversions, where a layer of warm air sits above the cold air closer to the ground, can also increase the impacts of noise. There is a greater chance of hearing sound from a distant source when there is a temperature inversion. Temperature inversions occur at different heights above the earth’s surface and reflect sound waves back to the ground in varying degrees.
What is New Acland Mine doing to mitigate noise?
New Hope is committed to continuous improvement of our operations. As part of this commitment, we have implemented an extensive range of management measures that effectively address and reduce potential noise and vibration impacts.
These measures include:
- Forecasting and monitoring of weather conditions to understand how noise is likely to travel and plan our activities accordingly;
- Reducing noise by including/tailoring equipment e.g. mufflers installed on key mining equipment such as excavators, track dozers and loaders;
- Scheduling of activities to ensure evening and night time noise is kept at a minimum;
- Implementing a noise and vibration plan to guide day-to-day noise management practices;
- Using stockpiles and bunds as noise barriers for works where possible;
- Implementing a Trigger Action Response Plan (TARP) with realtime monitoring and adaptive management actions that involve immediately reducing, relocating or stopping identified noisier mining activities; and
- Ensuring our neighbours have access to an after-hours contact number for immediate on-site response to potential noise issues.
The majority of New Acland Mine's heavy machinery fleet have been outfitted with a sound attenutation package.
To keep our local communities and stakeholders informed about the Project’s environmental monitoring, New Hope will produce a monthly environmental monitoring report from the start of Project construction, including a summary of air quality, noise and vibration monitoring data. This report will be available online at www. aclandproject.com.au. If you would like further information regarding the Project’s noise and vibration management strategies, please contact us by:
- Calling the New Hope Community Information Centre on 07 4691 3445, or visiting us at Shop 90/88 Campbell Street, Oakey.
- Freecall 1800 882 142 – your call will be answered during business hours, or you can leave return call details outside of business hours
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Air Quality Management
New Hope continuously monitors the air quality conditions at its rail loading facilities. It operates according to the strict environmental requirements of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and specifically meets all the Environmental Authority (EA) and Development Approval (DA) conditions set by the Queensland Government.
New Hope goes beyond requirements in the best interests of its neighbours, communities and the wider region.
New Acland Coal Pty Ltd (NAC) has publicly displayed air quality monitoring results in Jondaryan, at the Caltex Road House since 2011 in agreement with the Jondaryan District Residents Association.
After receiving interest from the broader community, NAC has decided to also display these results online.
Sampling locations are located in the Jondaryan township, and air quality monitoring results represent air quality based on the Jondaryan township’s surrounding land uses including: bulk material handling, agriculture, and traffic.
Three types of results are reported in accordance with relevant Australian Standards as described below:
- Dust deposition monitoring: Material deposited by gravity is collected in sample containers on a monthly basis. Samples are submitted to an independent laboratory for analysis to measure dust deposition rate and sample composition;
- PM10 monitoring: An independent third party contractor runs a powered sampler drawing ambient air through a filtering mechanism for one 24 hour period per quarter. The sampler reports the concentration of particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than ten microns; and
- TEOM monitoring: A powered sampler draws ambient air continuously and reports total concentration of particles on a real time basis.
Atmospheric conditions (wind speed and direction), and surrounding land use observations are referenced when reporting air quality results. These aspects are important to consider when interpreting results where multiple sources potentially affect air quality.
The figure below denotes monitoring locations utilised for the air quality sampling methods described above.
If you have any queries relating to this monitoring program, please contact NAC’s Coal Handling Preparation Plant (CHPP) Superintendent on (07) 4694 8888.
Click below to view the Jondaryan Rail Loading Facility Air Quality Monitoring Results:
In May 2013, the New Hope Group became the first company transporting coal along the South West System to begin the process of profiling and veneering coal wagons.