With mining activities in the NSW Hunter Valley increasingly taking place close to residential areas, Komatsu is helping address noise-related issues by developing sound attenuation packages for its Mining Dump Trucks limiting impact on local residence.
As of early August, Komatsu Australia was in the final stages of delivering 23 Komatsu 830E-1AC dump trucks to Rio Tinto's Mt Thorley Warkworth mine, near the town of Singleton in the upper Hunter, fitted with a "phase one" sound attenuation package, according to Kris Burford, Komatsu Australia's National Product Manager Mining.
"The standard truck out of the factory delivers 122 dBA, but with our phase one attenuation package, we've reduced sound levels to 118 dBA uphill, 113 dBA downhill, and 109 dBA on flat ground travelling at 9 km/h," he said.
These levels are according to the relevant ISO and Australian Standards, measured by industry professionals in this area of expertise.
"A phase two package has also been developed, which we are about to start delivering on 11 830E-1AC's going to the Bengalla mine which is also a Rio Tinto managed site near Muswellbrook, also in the Upper Hunter.
"That package drops the uphill sound level to 115 dBA, and we're going to reduce that even further, to 113 dBA, with a Phase 3 solution to meet the mine requirements ." said Kris.He said Bengalla's operating licence required the lower sound levels, whereas Mt Thorley Warkworth had taken a proactive approach to what it believed would be implemented in the future.
"These packages are Komatsu systems, designed and supported by Komatsu," said Kris.
"To achieve this, we are enclosing the engine bay, we have a radiator attenuator, a different style of exhaust system, and silencers installed on the grid package."
Initially the package is only available for the 830E-1AC, but Komatsu's intention is to take it across the rest of its Mining Truck line in a phased approach.
The sound attenuation kits are available as a factory option at the time of ordering, or can be supplied as a retrofit kit for the 830E-1 AC truck.
Kris said there was increasing demand in the Hunter Valley specifically for sound attenuation because of site and licence requirement
"This is due to the fact that many mines are quite close to townships.
"On a number of occasions, mine sites have been asked to meet with best practice which includes taking a phased approach to bring sound power levels down at the boundaries of the mines," he said.