The ASEAN Potash Mining project has determination to control salt dust by using modern technology that can control, store and trap salt dust effectively.
Evaluation of salt dust impact
The salt dust arises from the project operations is another issue of the evaluation on the air impact. The environmental consultant has evaluated by using the AERMOD mathematical simulation. It found the accumulated fall of the salt dust of NaCI and KCI per annum has the approximate value of 0.9790 and 0.5349 per square meter respective. The accumulated fall of the salt dust can cause positive impact on the agricultural area from potassium is the main nutrient element necessary for growth of plants. While the fall of the salt dust NaCI on the land surface has a chance to increase land salinity at 0.04 g Na/sq. m per year. Evaluation of impact from increasing of sodium in soil due to NaCI and KCI has potential in high water solution, so the salt dust is eliminated by rain water each year continuously.
Normally, soil at the project area has sodium volume at 18.36 g/sq. m already although no project took place. However, when the project has the sodium volume in the soil increased by 0.04 g/sq. m per year was a very small amount compared with the existing volume in the soil before the project. Thus, the significant level of impact from salt dust released into the atmosphere and fall on the soil surface was at the very low level.
Mitigation Measurement of salt dust impact
The Project has mitigation measurement on prevention of the salt dust impact by dividing the sources that can cause the dust into 3 parts are:
1. Underground mine
- It can use the remote control to order the machines to work in the areas that generate salt dust in high amounts, so the employees may not be exposed to the dust directly.
- Install air ventilation fans and dust traps where it may generate dust.
- All the employees may wear face masks to protect against dust by another way.
- Provide health examinations to the employees annually.
2. Processing plant
- Design the processing plant in the enclosed buildings.
- Use the machines, equipment and conveyors in the enclosed system.
- Install dust traps at the processing plant area and the ore transport area to control the air quality to be ventilated out meeting the specified standards.
- Install equipment in monitoring the dust diffusion at the various areas around the project areas.
- Before transport a potash fertilizer out of the project, the dust diffusion is controlled by using dust-eliminating oil.
- Plant perennial trees throughout the project areas as a natural wall to filter out dust by another layer.
- Follow up on the air quality inspection from the air ventilation shafts and in the general atmosphere. If it is found to have the value exceeding the required standards, it will be hurried up to remedy it promptly.
3. Tailings Pond
- The project has prepared an area of about 5,600 rais to be used as tailings pond only 5,600 rais which can support the mining throughout the mining- life. While the Company prepared such a large area is to make the tailings piles not too high to help avoid winds and not to cause an eyesore.
- Build soil ramparts around the pond and line the pond bottom with leak proof material sheet made of HDPE, double layers with 5-mm thickness.
- Install a leak inspection system in the tailings pond by placing fishbone pipes in the area between the first and the second layers on the pond floor.
- Use the water-spraying system in the case of finding diffusion of salt dust at the tailings pond area.
- Plant fast-growing perennial trees and can withstand high salinity to use as a wind break and create beautiful scenery.
- As soon as there is a gap in the underground mine is sufficient to backfill the tailings in the underground gaps immediately to reduce impact on the environment permanently, and help to build stability to the underground tunnels. At the end of mining there will be no tailings left on the ground anymore.