Boddington, one of Australia’s largest gold producing mines, was experiencing noise issues with their crushers – one of their primary pieces of ore processing equipment.
Working to reduce the size of rocks, stones and ore, crushers can be either compressive (pressing the material until it breaks) or impact style (using quick impacts to crush material). Either style is very noisy, emitting low-frequency noise. Since this noise can easily be above minimum standards, crusher machinery presents a known health risk both for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) and dust inhalation for nearby workers.
Crushers also tend to require regular maintenance, which meant that any proposed noise and dust control solutions would need to be non-corrosive, easy to keep clean, and able to withstand the rigours of regular cleaning.
As Boddington state on their website, “We measure our success as a company by our contribution to the lives of our workers, their families and the communities living near our mines. Our ultimate goal is to achieve a culture of safety where all our people go home safe and healthy at the end of each work day.”
Clearly it was important to Boddington to reduce the noise and dust emitted from their crusher to adhere to their Health and Safety Statement. Boddington contacted Flexshield for a noise control solution for their crusher.
Before supplying a solution, Flexshield travelled to the Western Australian site to gather noise level readings and physical measurements. This allowed the team to create the right tailored solution for the crusher enclosure.
Flexshield recommended Sonic Curtains (also known as acoustic curtains) hung from a corrosive-resistant suspension track, which allowed operators to pull back the curtains. More versatile and economical than fixed solutions, the Sonic Acoustic Curtains allow easy access and disassembly.
As proof-of-concept, Flexshield supplied the Boddington mine with a small section of the acoustic curtain for vigorous testing. The Sonic Curtain solution was successful, standing up to the harsh mine site environment.
The curtain was manufactured in Flexshield’s Toowoomba manufacturing facility, then transported and installed at the Boddington mine site.
Flexshield supplied a concertina-style acoustic curtain that allowed users to close the curtain when the crusher was in use, or move it out of the way when maintenance was required using the non-corrosive track. This neat solution offers easy access and cleaning.
The unique absorption and barrier combination successfully treated the low frequency crusher noise, helping Boddington adhere to the government’s regulated decibel time exposure allowance (85dBA/8hr). The curtains are also working to reduce and control the spread of dust and fumes at the mine site.
The industrial acoustic curtains are durable for outdoor use and withstand the rigours of Australian weather and mining machinery such as those associated with crushers. They are also quickly cleaned with just a hose or high-pressure cleaner.
For more information about noise control solutions for mine sites, contact Flexshield on 1300 799 969.
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