Mines inspector calls for quarries to get ?houses? in order

The NSW IQA branch’s annual weekend seminar was held at the Anchorage Resort at Corlette, near Nelson Bay, from 18 to 19 May, and attended by more than 50 IQA members and their families.

The keynote speaker was NSW Chief Inspector of Mines Garvin Burns who reviewed the latest issues the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is concerned about in quarries. These issues include safe access for articulated dump trucks (ADTs) on roads, and tailgates, mobile plants and explosives. He called for participants to “ensure you have your house in order”.

Burns also announced the NSW DPI was preparing a safety handbook on ground strata and airborne contaminants (for rollout this month).

Burns was one of three presenters on 19 May at WesTrac’s Tomago facility in Newcastle.
The DPI’s Peter Berkholz also discussed ADTs and the process of getting off and on the vehicle, step heights, three points of contact and mixing from ladders to steps.

Catalyst Project Consulting co-ordinator Milos Rastovic also discussed a new soil product has been manufactured from the rehabilitation of a quarry at Maitland.

All on-site materials were sorted and screened and waste removed, but most of it was re-used to produce soil at the Fieldsend clay mine.

“The manufactured soil was tested and was found to be better than the natural, undisturbed soils,” Rastovic said.
Rastovic said during the presentation many tonnes of material had been dumped around the site, including bricks, rail ballast, rail tracks, sleepers and cars. The original quarry operation, which dates back to 1882, made pipes, roof tiles and later bricks. 

The site was battered back from its steep unconsolidated slopes to compacted revegetated slopes.  In November 2016, 253,000 tube stock plants were planted, and have been monitored every six months. The growth rates and survival rates have met expectations, Rastovic said.

Following the morning presentations at WesTrac, the delegates toured Metso’s Tomago service centre, which first opened in 2017. The 2000m2 facility offers mechanical, structural and electrical inspections, diagnostic services, on-site technical support and supervision, planned outage, shutdown and emergency breakdown services.

Delegates and their families concluded the seminar on the Saturday evening, with a Moonshadow cruise on Nelson Bay.

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