5.0 Conclusion

The life cycle approach, through planning and exploration to development and operations and, finally, to closure and rehabilitation, is central to leading practice management of airborne contaminants, noise and vibration arising from mining operations. Different risks and issues arise in each phase of the mine’s life, and have to be managed systematically. From the earliest stages, management strategies should be integrated into systems and plans, as a tool for operational staff and a basis for ensuring compliance and improving performance.

The handbook adopts a risk management approach to the three issues. This involves identifying the dust, noise or vibration hazard, assessing the risk and implementing controls. The need for monitoring and management to ensure the controls are working effectively is a common message throughout the booklet.

Even though the handbook necessarily focuses on the hard engineering controls required to eliminate or mitigate the risks, the significance of working with the community is also stressed throughout. Without community involvement and engagement in all aspects of the mine’s life cycle, the ‘social licence to operate’ will be quickly withdrawn and the operation will close, leaving a negative impression on community attitudes that can affect not just the operator but the whole industry.

Leading practice is all about integrating sustainable development into a mining operation. By way of text, photos, figures, tables and selected case studies, this handbook provides a toolkit for implementing leading practice in the management of airborne contaminants, noise and vibration.

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