DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2014/B51/S20.065


J. Castilla-Gomez, J. Herrera-Herbert, Z. Qinglong
Wednesday 1 October 2014 by Libadmin2014

References: 14th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2014, www.sgem.org, SGEM2014 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-17-9 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 19-25, 2014, Book 5, Vol. 1, 481-488 pp

Mining operations are, by their nature, potential sources of environmental impacts.
Before starting the development of the mine is mandatory to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment containing all the changes in the environment and its proper removal, minimization or management, in the case that cannot be removed. One of the impacts that may occur is the increase of noise pollution in the surrounding areas of mines. There are several sources of noise such as processing plants, blasting and machinery among others. This paper develops a methodology to predict the noise impact of mining operations, collecting existent standards, guidelines and technical procedures with the objective of estimating the maximum level of noise and the range of that impact outwards mining activities, focusing in how machinery contributes to noise pollution. Numerous environmental factors determine the level of sound in a particular point of reception. These factors include, among others, the distance from the sound source to the receiver; surrounding terrain, ambient sound level, time of day, wind direction, temperature gradient and humidity. The characteristics of machinery sound are also important factors to consider when impact assessment is developed in the stage of seeking noise generating points. This paper shows a review of usual machinery used in mining, remarking which machinery causes more impact on the environment. It has to be considered that the produced depends on mine planning and the operational phase carried out. This paper follows the structure of Environmental Impact Assessment approaching and identifies sources of impact; predicts the maximum impact and propose mitigation measures. Once the generating sources of impact have been identified, the values perceived in sensitive areas under study should be established. To do this the attenuation models sound propagation outdoors should be taken into account. The methodology described could be useful to predict noise impact of ongoing projects or planned ones.

Keywords: noise pollution, environmental impact, mining, noise prediction, machinery.