BY SHERIF ANDRAWES, HEAD OF GLOBAL NATURAL RESOURCES, BDO; AND CHRIS DAVIS, MINING INDUSTRY CONSULTANT
There are major changes predicted to shake-up Australia’s mining sector by 2023, including diesel machinery not being used in new underground mines, and existing underground mines in the process of phasing them out. BDO predicts that by 2023, Australian miners will have made significant headway towards electric underground mines.
THE ISSUE WITH HOW THINGS CURRENTLY ARE
Mining companies focus on how to build and operate a mine as efficiently and safely as possible. Occasionally, there is a sudden shock to the system, such as a mine collapse or a tailings dam failure. Fortunately, these are few and far between; but when they do happen, there is a swift review and much navel-gazing across the industry. Unfortunately, a safety issue that has a much longer and less-dramatic gestation period has the potential to be a major risk for mining companies in the near future. That is, the chronic health issues associated with the presence of nano diesel particulate matter (nDPM) in underground mines.