Mining Exploration and Noise: A Guide to Greater Social Acceptance

Monitoring • February 27, 2024

Mining and supplying mineral resources are essential components in their contribution to the development of modern industries and technologies. Powering the production of electronics, batteries and sustainable infrastructures, mining exploration meets this growing demand, and thus an integral role in the development of our societies.

However, mining mineral resources is often accompanied with a downside: environmental noise. Blasting, drilling, and mining activities, can result in a significant change to the noise environment in surrounding communities.

 

Faced with the potential of noise disturbances, the social acceptance of mining exploration projects can pose a cause for concern that should not be overlooked.

 

This article proposes to explore solutions for mitigating mining-related noise challenges and improving the social acceptance of projects within the neighbouring communities. We will highlight the available technologies and discuss best practices for planning and implementing acoustical solutions. Additionally, we will outline the importance of continuous, real-time monitoring of noise and vibration levels, including constructive communication with stakeholders.

[Free Webinar Replay] Noise Management: How to Design Mining Exploration Projects for Social Acceptance

Are you dealing with noise complaints and facing challenges with social acceptance in the mining sector, especially during the exploration phase?

This webinar, presented by renowned experts in acoustics and vibration, is for you!

Discover some essential acoustic elements, enhance the social acceptance of mining exploration projects, and strive for harmonious coexistence among neighboring communities.

 

webinar-mining-noise-solutions-softdb

 

By adopting a more proactive approach to managing environmental noise emissions, the mining industry can effectively reduce its noise impact, while contributing to a more sustainable environment.

Mining Exploration: Noise Sources 

Mining exploration generates a variety of noises, associated with exploratory drilling, that can contribute to noise levels in the community under certain conditions. 

Main sources of noise may include: 

  • Drill motors;
  • Pumps
  • Generators;
  • Drilling activities and drill pipe changes;
  • etc.

As a general rule, sound pressure measured at a distance of 10m from a typical exploratory drilling rig, can typically reach sound levels of between 80 and 90 dB(A).

Impact of Drilling Activities on the Noise Climate

Environmental noise that is generated by mineral exploration can have a tremendous impact on the noise climate in neighbouring communities. 

It is important to note that the impact of noise can depend on several factors, such as the distance between the noise source and local populations, the topography of the terrain, and weather conditions.

Solutions to Reduce Noise and Improve Social Acceptance

Mitigating mining-related noise is a major concern for the mining industry, particularly when it comes to building social acceptance in neighbouring communities. Here are just a few solutions to reduce mine-related noise concerns:

1. Noise Reduction Technologies:

  • Industrial Soundproofing: Installation of industrial soundproofing solutions, such as acoustic blankets or silencers on exploratory drills and adjacent equipment, ensuring adequate ventilation of the drill, while effectively reducing its noise contribution.
  • Low-Noise Drills: Utilizing specialized drills that are equipped with efficient noise and vibration reduction technologies.

2. Transparent Monitoring and Communication:

  • Continuous, real-time monitoring of noise and vibration levels: Implementing a vibration and noise monitoring system to be able to identify audible sources in real time, ensure that mitigation measures are maintained, in addition to receiving a comprehensive review of noise data reports
  • Communication with Stakeholders: Organizing information meetings and workshops to inform local communities about the proposed and/or existing projects, and communicating the noise mitigation measures before and during the Mines exploratory drilling activities.

 

Mitigating mining-related noise and improving the social acceptance of mining projects, requires a multidimensional, proactive approach. The use of noise abatement technologies, thoughtful planning and implementation of acoustic treatments, monitoring and transparent communication with stakeholders, are essential to the success of mining exploration projects.

Mining Exploration: Noise Management for Sustainable Development

Mining exploration is an essential activity that is required to meet the growing demand for mineral resources. With mining operations contributing and impacting the noise climate in the surrounding communities, it becomes especially important to take social acceptance into account for all mining exploration projects.

 

Proactive and effective noise management is essential for the sustainable development of mining exploration. 

 

This involves the utilization of noise abatement technologies, adequate protective measures, thoughtful site planning and layout, and transparent communication with stakeholders.

By having the right noise reduction technologies in place, continuous real-time noise and vibration monitoring system, providing transparent communication with stakeholders, produces a proactive and effective plan to gain community acceptance of mining projects. 

Share

Other Relevant Articles

How Graymont Achieved Noise Compliance During the Heritage Project With Soft dB’s Environmental Noise Monitoring Solutions

Discover how Graymont, a global leader in lime and limestone solutions, successfully ensured its noise compliance during the Heritage Project (5-year duration) through complete environmental noise remote monitoring solutions from Soft dB.
Read more