Q&A with FoS members from meeting 02/04/2019
The only question I would pose is that when they enclose the main and secondary crushers, the filtering shakers and screens and the conveyors, will they be filtering the air that they have to release from the enclosure. I mean the dust is still going to be created but hopefully contained in the enclosure. If they just exhaust the air to atmosphere the whole operation is pointless as the enclosure will act as a bit of a sound deadener and nothing else. However, if the exhaust air is filtered this would be an ideal way of localising the dust problem and dealing with it. The exhaust air could be filtered by means of bag filters or water sprays forming a tunnel.I will be very interested in hearing what method they intend using for their dust suppression.
Air contained within enclosures or shelters will not be exhausted into the atmosphere. Passive engineering controls are installed to stop the wind from moving any airborne dust particles from a particular operating process or transfer point. Without any wind present, dust generation is significantly reduced in the operating process. Dust that does become airborne in the enclosure will settle on the ground which can then be wetted and removed by a small loader or skid steer. Current dust suppression with foaming agents and water sprays will continued with the installation of enclosures.
“Recycled water infrastructure capital expenditure is planned for 2017/2018 which will reduce the reliance on potable water while increasing the availability of water for site dust suppression activities.” Has this been completed?
Not at this stage. Installation and usage was planned for September / October 2018 through Willunga Basin Water Company. Initial delays with WBWC and council approval / infrastructure works to extend piping along South road pushed this out to December 2018 / January 2019. Ongoing delays are now with WBWC and SA Power networks to reconfigure the electrical supply to their booster pump station, located near the Victory Hotel. All internal quarry connections have been completed and once supply starts we will be able to switch from mains water to recycled.
“Southern Quarries operates continuously (i.e. 24 hours) under its approved MOP. However; the crushing plants operating hours are generally from 06:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday and 06:00 to 12:00 on Saturday and in accordance with market needs. These times do not include pre-start checks, maintenance of plant and equipment or development works which vary due to demand. Loading and distribution of materials can occur up to 24 hours a day.” The above indicates to me that the hours of operation are completely at the discretion of Southern Quarries. Correct?
Southern Quarries is licenced to operate 24/7. Production and crushing hours are normally 6am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 6am to 12pm on Saturday. Crushing hours were extended during 2018 on weekdays till 12am to meet South Australia’s infrastructure project demand, which includes Darlington and Northern Connector road upgrades. Road transport movements have always operated 24 hours, Monday to Friday, with only limited truck movements occurring between 10pm and 5am. With regards to the operating hours, Southern Quarries must still comply with the approved environmental objective and criteria in the Mine Operation Plan (MOP).
“A concrete batching plant is onsite, as well as fuel storage and workshop facilities.” What is the concrete batching plant used for? I was under the impression that the quarry supplied raw materials only. A concrete batching plant combines various ingredients to form concrete. Some of these inputs include water, air, admixtures, sand, aggregate (rocks, gravel, etc.), fly ash, silica fume, slag, and cement.
The Direct-Mix Concrete batching plant is used to make ready-mixed concrete which is transported to customers around the Southern area. Concrete Agitator trucks are used to transport the ready-mixed wet concrete to site. Aggregates, Sand, Cement powder (contained in silo’s) and water are mixed together through the batching plant and loaded directly into the trucks. The concrete batching plant has been operating at Sellicks Hill Quarry for the past 30 years. Direct-mix concrete have another 12 plants located around South Australia.
Whenever an issue with dust is mentioned, a number of individuals raise the issue of local jobs. How many full time employees at the quarry actually own ( not rent ) property in Sellicks Beach or Sellicks Hill?
Southern Quarries provided the following list to Friends of Sellicks to highlight local employment in the area. I cannot confirm who from this list owns or rents their properties in Sellicks Beach / Hill.
Direct Employees who live local (Sellicks and surrounding suburbs)
-17+ Full time staff (Quarry Management, operators & weighbridge staff)
-15+ Labour hire staff (Operators and maintenance workers)
-3 x local Drilling contractors
-10 x company truck drivers (Screenings Transport)
-16+ Sub-contractor truck drivers (towing company owned trailers)
-2x Cleaners & Gardeners
Indirect Employees and Local Services (live and trade locally)
– Aldinga Bay Dingo
– Aldinga Plumbing
– Southern Dial A Weld (Lonsdale)
– Fleureiu Cranes (Lonsdale)
– Gully’s Diesel Services (Seaford)
– McLaren Vale Hot Water & Plumbing
– HD Auto Electrical (Lonsdale)
– Adelaide Rock & Crete (Aldinga)
– Current Electrical Services (Aldinga)
– Baldocks earthmoving (Normanville)
– Aldinga Landscapes
– Cavpower (2 x Local fitters)
– Crushing Mining Maintenance – Hallett Cove
– Landcare (Tree Planting)
– Yankalilla Seeds
– FP AG (Mount Compass)
– The Sign Boys (Aldinga)
– Victory Hotel (Sellicks)
– 15-20 + Local truck owner-drivers (contractors)
Is there evidence that the Southern Quarries Dust Management Compliance Plan is regularly communicated to the directly employed workforce and the sub-contractors of Southern Quarries i.e. in the form of minutes of “Tool Box” meetings? If so, can these minutes be issued to the EPA?
Yes, the Dust Management Plan and it’s updates are communicated to all employees and required contractors at Toolbox meetings and other site communications. Daily weather conditions and observations are reviewed and communicated with employees at pre-start meetings. Dust management, community concerns and ongoing initiatives are regularly discussed at monthly Toolbox meetings.
Are the directly employed workforce and sub-contractors of Southern Quarries actually monitored in their performance in the compliance with their Dust Management Compliance Plan? If so, how are they monitored?
Yes, employees and contractor are continually assessed and monitored on their performance by management. Monitoring is completed by visual assessments and site boundary monitoring.
Are the directly employed workforce and sub-contractors of Southern Quarries instructed by the SQ management to comply with their Dust Management Compliance Plan, or are they simply requested to comply with the same?
See attached extract of an email dated 19/3/2019 in response to a complaint by the FoS chairman regarding a loud noise.
Employees are instructed by management.
The reason for the questions above are centered around the fact that if the direct employees and sub-contractors of Southern Quarries have not bought into and taken ownership of the Dust Management Compliance Plan, then no matter what systems are in place, the dust management methods will be virtually ineffective. There is recent evidence of this when blasting still took place when the winds were blowing South Easterly.
As per the DMP, blasting won’t occur when winds are Easterly and over 50km/hr (TARP level 3). Blasting can take place in Easterly winds below 50km/hr, but every effort is made by management to coincide planning to limit blasting with easterly winds. The explosives supplier needs to be booked a month in advance. They only have two Mobile Mixing Units (MMU’s) trucks within Adelaide supplying South Australian quarries. As it gets closer to the planned blasting day, wind forecast applications are closely monitored with hopes for westerly wind directions. If the wind directions are unfavourable, discussion with the explosives supplier are made to see if we can postpone/bring forward the delivery, but this cannot always happen as the suppliers has several customers. Management decisions are then required to blast in the most favourable period available.
Current and planned passive engineering controls (sheds / enclosures) included in the 2019 DMP will build on current management controls included in the DMP.
Question Regarding The Screens On South Road
What will be the finished height of the screens along South Road? The reason for this question is that the brown mining scar in the side of Sellick Hill that is most noticeable from Aldinga and even Noarlunga ( 30 km`s away ) is now clearly visible from the heart of Sellicks Beach and is an eyesore.
Quarry development plans and rehabilitation are detailed in our approved Mine Operations Plan (MOP). Exposed faces are covered with topsoil and revegetated to blend back in with the existing landscape. This process in ongoing and completed seasonally each year. I am happy to discuss this in more detail with you personally or at the upcoming open day on the 13th April.
Question Regarding Southern Quarries Community Engagement
Will Southern Quarries reassess their current biannual community engagement arrangement, which is exclusively with Friends of Sellicks, and invite an impartial body that will best represent the interests of the residents of Sellicks Beach? Friends of Sellicks only has a paid-up membership of 32 people. Given that the population of Sellicks is around 2800 people, this is hardly more than a 1% representation. It is the opinion of many who live in Sellicks that FoS is an organisation that has lost touch and connection with the wishes of the residents of Sellicks regarding their needs, together with the interface required with Southern Quarries.
Can Southern Quarries issue formal minutes of the biannual community engagement meetings on the Sellicks and Surrounds facebook page and also email those residents who receive blast notifications?
Southern Quarries is open to meeting with small groups or individuals to discuss the operations. Open days to facilitate discussions have recently been held at the Community Hall in December 2017, April 2018 and again this year in April 2019. Friends of Sellicks committee members initiated and engaged in open discussions with Southern Quarries around 5 years ago as an impartial group representing Sellicks to voice their concern regarding dust. It is my understanding that they have always encouraged locals to engage directly with Southern Quarries. FoS will be issuing a report of items discussed and information provided from the most recent meeting, which I am sure will be shared on social media. I can also circulate this information to the registered community email address’ SQ has on file.
Sellicks Blast 11/04/2019
Notification of a blast today (Thursday April 11th) that may be visible to the wider community. The location of this blast will be in the Eastern section of the quarry behind the hill. The wind is forecast to swing around to the North-West mid to late morning, meaning any dust cloud will blow away from Sellicks Beach. Blasting time will be early afternoon.
Sellicks Hill Quarry Open Day 13/04/2019
Please find below, flyer for Community tour and open day for the Sellicks Hill Quarry on Saturday 13th April.
Link: SQ Tour flyer 2019
Please register interest to confirm a seat on the bus.
Sellicks Blast 26/03/2019
Notification of a blast today (Tuesday 26th March) that may be visible to the wider community. The location of this blast will be in the Southern end of the Southern Pit. The forecast for today is South-Westerly winds, meaning any dust cloud will blow away from Sellicks Beach. Blasting time will be early to mid-afternoon.
Communication in relation to Noises heard on 15/03/2019
On Friday afternoon the noise heard was from a secondary breaking activity, rather than normal blast, which occurred at 4:18pm. Secondary breaking occurs on large rocks (around 15-20 tonnes each) which are too big for the crusher and rock-breaker. Secondary breaking consists of drilling a couple of holes in the large rock and initiating approximately 5kg of explosives. This will fracture the large rock into manageable pieces. This process can be a little noisier than a normal blast and can sound more like a single rifle crack. A normal blast consists of 60-80 drill holes 15m in length, using approximately 8 tonnes of explosives and blasting between 30-50,000 tonnes of rock. Each hole is fired individually and in sequence, with a delay of around 8 milliseconds between each hole. This will sound more like a rumble over 1-2 seconds.
Blasting notifications are being provided as detailed in our Dust Management Plan (DMP) when blasting dust is likely to be visible, which is generally from blast areas at elevated locations. The DMP is available to review on our website www.southernquarries.com.au. The notifications are sent to the registered Sellicks community emails, Friend of Sellicks and Sellicks and Surrounds Facebook group administrators. For blasts low within the quarry pit, I am not generally sending out notifications, as the dust cloud is contained within the pit and not visible to the wider community.
Sellicks Blast 18/03/2019
Notification of a blast today (Monday 18th March) that may be visible to the wider community. The location of this blast will be in the Eastern Quarry development behind the hill. Current wind direction this morning is light South-Easterlies, with the forecast to change to South-Westerly early to mid-afternoon. Blasting time will be scheduled once the wind turns to a Westerly direction, which will result in any dust cloud blowing away from Sellicks Beach.
Sellicks Blast 06/03/2019
Notification of a blast today (Wednesday 6th March) that may be visible to the wider community. The location of this blast will be in the Southern end of the Southern Pit. The forecast for today is South-Westerly winds, meaning any dust cloud will blow away from Sellicks Beach. Blasting time will be early to mid-afternoon.
Sellicks Blast 25/02/2019
I was unable to email out a notification of a blast today (Monday 25th February) that was visible to the wider community. The location of the blast was behind the big hill. The wind as forecasted at the time of the blast was a light South-Westerly which meant the dust cloud travelled along the length of the hill and travelled away from Sellicks Beach to the East.
Sellicks Blast 19/02/2019
Notification of a blast today (Tuesday 19th February) that may be visible to the wider community. The location of this blast will be at the top of the Hill. The forecast for today is a South-Westerly wind, meaning the dust cloud will blow away from Sellicks Beach, back over the hills to the East. Blasting time will be early afternoon. We had been monitoring the wind forecast since last week and with the change in forecast, blasting was brought forward today.
Update to provide a notification of a visible blast this week on Wednesday (6th February). The location of this blast is at the south-eastern section of the Quarry. The forecast for Wednesday is for the wind direction to shift around to the west from mid-morning. A westerly wind direction will mean any dust cloud will blow away from Sellicks Beach. Based on the current forecast we will be blast around midday, after the change in wind direction. The blast was scheduled for today (Monday), but with strong South-Easterlies forecasted, the blast was delayed until more favourable wind conditions were forecast.
With regards to ongoing blast notifications, Southern Quarries has been sending out notifications for blast locations that are visible to the wider community (on top of the hill and South-Eastern section). This is the first blast notification for 2019, as we had planned to minimise the number of visible blasts over Summer. The reasoning behind this is due to the drier soils producing more dust when surface blasting and the predominant South-Easterly wind direction from December to February at Sellicks. The visible blasts are also higher up within the quarry and more exposed to the wind. The quarry usually blasts once per week and so far this year they have been low within the quarry pit, with favourable wind conditions. The blast dust cloud seen last week (Tuesday 29th) was fired low within the pit with a light North-westerly wind blowing. In these light winds, the dust cloud hung up in the air longer than usual, before dispersing over the hills to the east away from Sellicks.
EPA South Australia published Southern Quarries Sellicks Community Update #2
(Excerpt from document below)
Issued 7 December 2018
The Sellicks Hill quarry is an area of ongoing focus for the EPA to ensure that the site’s operator, Southern Quarries, is taking steps to manage dust. Over the past year, the EPA has been in regular contact with Southern Quarries and has been conducting various compliance activities.
Since March 2016, the EPA has required Southern Quarries to develop a Dust Management Plan as part of its EPA licence conditions, to identify likely sources of dust from its activities, and identify measures for controlling and minimising dust emissions. Southern Quarries is required to monitor the effectiveness of these measures, undertake continuous improvement, and provide regular reports to the EPA. The Dust Management Plan has now been updated to capture and allow regulation of the further improvements made to the site.
Read full update by clicking link EPA Southern Quarries Sellicks COMMUNITY UPDATE #2
Southern Quarries community update on the construction works currently happening on South Road between the Victory Hotel and the Quarry entrance
The construction works and purple pipe installation is an extension of the recycled water infrastructure south from the Victory Hotel, connecting into the Quarry.
Southern Quarries has entered into an agreement with Willunga Basin Water (WBC) to supply 50,000,000 litres of recycled water per year to the quarry for dust suppression activities.
The quarry currently relies on mains water for dust suppression activities.
Such dust suppression activities include:
• two water trucks,
• crushing plant sprays,
• under-plant sprinklers and
• stockpile sprinklers located around the site.
The additional recycled water connection will not only increase the amount of water available on a daily basis for dust suppression, but also reduce the reliance on mains ‘drinking’ water for Quarry operations.
The recycled water will feed into the 375,000 litre tank that was installed in January 2018.
Recycled water is currently used throughout Aldinga, Willunga and McLaren Vale mainly for irrigation, primarily taken from SA Water’s Christies Beach and Sellicks Beach Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP’s).
The Willunga Basin Water (WBW) Company has approval from SA Health to supply recycled water for use as ‘dust suppression’.
As part of the approval, Southern Quarries must ensure we comply with certain conditions on site.
The conditions include:
• Signage installed in the areas the recycled water is being used.
• Taps, sprays and fitting are signposted indicating recycled water in use – do not drink.
• The Water trucks are marked to indicate recycled water – do not drink.
• Ensure there is no cross contamination with mains water and back flow prevention installed.
• Recycled water pipe and fittings to be marked or coloured coded (lilac / purple).
The Sellicks Beach WWTP was upgraded in 2016 to ensure it achieves ongoing, reliable treatment/disinfection for discharge into WBWC’s network in-line with WBWC’s SA Health Approval.
The WWTP now incorporates on-line (real time) monitoring of turbidity, pH and total chlorine and all non-compliant flows are diverted back through the WWTP for further treatment. This ensures that only recycled water complying with the following criteria is transferred to the WBWC distribution network:
• Turbidity level of less than 20 NTU,
• pH level of greater than 6 and less than 8.5, and
• total chlorine level of not less than 1 mg/L.
This level of treatment complies with WBWC’s requirements which allow the water supplied by WBWC to be used for dust suppression. This upgrade and the use of the water was assessed by SA Health when the plant was upgraded and connected to the WBWC network in 2016.
Under Southern Quarries’ Health and Safety requirements, a Risk Assessment will be conducted once installation has been completed and prior to usage. The Risk Assessment will include training and awareness for all employees and contractors who work on the site and have potential to come into contact with the recycled water.
If personnel come into contact with the recycled water (e.g. Hands), simply rinsing with potable mains water afterwards, is sufficient to avoid any health concerns. This risk will be identified in the assessment and as such, a control to minimise the risk will be to have main water available for washing, in the areas of recycled water use.
The recycled water usage will be restricted for use at the Central Main Crushing plant and Water Truck within the Quarry. All other areas of the quarry will still be on mains water e.g. sprinklers around the site, western screening mound and northern sections of the Quarry. There will be very little chance of airborne water leaving the site due to the location of the crushing plant and extremely large size of the water droplets, in comparison to dust particles. The location of the main crushing plant is 60m below the top of the western screening mound and is over 2km from the Sellicks Beach Post office.
Sellicks Blast 16/11/2018
Update to provide a notification of a blast tomorrow (Friday 16th November) that will be visible to the wider Sellicks community.
The blast location will be in our Eastern quarry development area at the top of the big hill. We are planning to fire mid-morning after 9:30am, as the wind is forecast to swing around to the South-West, meaning that any dust cloud will blow away from Sellicks Beach, up and over the hills to the East.
Community Feedback Survey
To the residents of the Sellicks Community,
At Southern Quarries, we believe that it is through community engagement that we can identify issues that may need to be considered.
As such, as part of our ongoing community engagement strategy, Southern Quarries conducted a survey throughout the month of October 2018 to determine the best form of communication moving forward.
The survey feedback form included a simple list of 5 preferences for community communications and was distributed to 1400 residents of the Sellicks Community.
The breakdown of the first and second preferences of the survey is displayed in the following two graphs.
From the responses, our first direction will be to include people in our community notifications which include blast updates.
We will also organise another site tour as we did in April this year for next year and this could possibly be an annual event.
Southern Quarries community update on the construction works currently happening on South Road between the Victory Hotel and the Quarry entrance
The construction works and purple pipe installation is an extension of the recycled water infrastructure South from the Victory Hotel, connecting into the Quarry. Southern Quarries has entered into an agreement with Willunga Basin Water (WBC) to supply 50,000,000 litres of recycled water per year to the quarry for dust suppression activities. The quarry currently relies on mains water for dust suppression activities which include the two water trucks, crushing plant sprays, under-plant sprinklers and stockpile sprinklers located around the site. The recycled water connection will not only increase the amount of water available on a daily basis for dust suppression, but also reduce the reliance on mains ‘drinking’ water for Quarry operations. The recycled water will feed into the 375,000 litre tank that was installed last Summer in January. Recycled water is currently used throughout Aldinga, Willunga and McLaren Vale mainly for irrigation, taken from SA Water’s Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Sellicks Blast 05/11/2018
The blast location will be in the Southern section of the Quarry operations, on the Eastern side of the pit. The current wind and forecast at the time of blasting today (1-2pm) is Westerly, meaning any dust generated will blow over the Hills to the east.
Sellicks Blast 25/10/2018
Update to provide a notification of a blast tomorrow (Thursday 25th October) that will be visible to the wider Sellicks community.
The blast location will be in our Eastern quarry development area at the top of the big hill. The wind forecast tomorrow is for South-Westerly winds at around the time of blasting, meaning that any dust cloud will blow away from Sellicks, up and over the hills to the East.
Sellicks Blast 11/10/2018
Notification of a blast tomorrow (Thursday 11th October) that will be visible to the wider Sellicks community.
The blast location will be in the Southern section of the Quarry operations, on the Eastern side of the pit. The wind forecast tomorrow is for light South-Easterly winds at around the time of blasting. Dust generated from this blast should settle well within the pit and not blow off site.
Sellicks Blast 26/09/2018
The blast location will be in our Eastern quarry development area at the top of the big hill. Some people may have noticed the drill working up there over the past week. The wind forecast tomorrow is for Westerly winds, meaning that any dust cloud will blow away from Sellicks, up and over the hills to the East.
We will be planning to blast a few more times across the top of the hill before summer to minimise the dust generated (there is more moisture in the top surface during winter/spring) and before the South-Easterly winds dominate over the summer period.
Sellicks Blast 02/07/2018 & 06/07/2018
We have two visible blasts coming up. The first will be on Monday (2nd July) and the location will be on top of the hill. You may have noticed the drill positioned on top of the hill over the last week. The forecast for Monday is for North-West winds, which will blow any dust cloud away from Sellicks Beach. The second Blast is planned for Friday (6th July) and will be located at the Southern end of the Quarry. The long range forecast for Friday at this stage is again for North-West winds.
With regards to the Blasts on top of the hill, we have over recent years stopped blasting in this area over the winter period. The reasoning behind this strategy was to minimise the visual impact with the hill ‘greening’ up over winter. When we blast in this area, the brown blasted material is in contrast to the hill, increasing the visual impact. This winter we are going to fire a few more blasts across the top, as with more moisture in the top surface with winter rains, the dust generated from the blast is reduced. The predominate wind direction over this period is also from the West, meaning any dust generated will blow away from Sellicks Beach residents. We hope the effort to minimise the dust impacts, outweighs the increased visual impact of this area. As the blasted rock is removed from each blast, we place soil at the front which can then be seeded. The cover of grass helps reduce the visual impact and also provides a cover of vegetation over the summer.
People may have also noticed some areas around the quarry starting to ‘green’ up as we move well into winter. To date we have spread around 3 tonnes of Rye Corn grass seed, with a further 5 tonnes planned. As we try to complete each season, disturbed areas are covered with top soil / sub soil. These areas are then hand seeded with Rye Corn. The Rye corn grass provides a good initial cover and when it dries out over summer maintains that cover, dropping seed for re-growth the following year. The recent area’s that have been prepared for seeding are across the top of the big hill and Western Screening mound. We still have more work to complete on the lower level of the Screening mound before we can seed. Additional to the grass seed, we are about to plant 2,500 trees across the site. We don’t have any new areas to plant trees this year, with these 2,500 trees replacing previously planted trees that have not survived and filling in gaps between existing trees. On average we plant around 2,000 trees per year.
If anyone has questions or concerns please let us know via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sellicks Blast 17/04/2018
Notification of a blast today that will be conducted on top of the hill and visible to the community. Weather conditions today are favourable with light winds forecasted, meaning the dust cloud should settle well within the pit.
Sellicks Blast 24/02/2018
The blast location will be in our Eastern Quarry development area at the top just behind the big hill, which is approximately 750m East of South Road. The wind forecast tomorrow is for a light North Westerly wind after lunch, meaning that any dust cloud will blow away from Sellicks, up and over the hills to the East.
For each blast conducted on site, we setup a monitor to record blast vibration and noise. The monitor station is located near South Road. All Quarries are required to adhere to Australian Standards limits for ground vibration and air blast overpressure (noise). Generally our readings are well below the limits and for some blasts not even registering at the monitor station.
Sellicks Blast 20/02/2018
We are planning to blast tomorrow afternoon at the Quarry.
We have been monitoring the weather and tomorrow does look ok to blast, based on the winds. BOM Forecast is “Winds east to southeasterly 25 to 35 km/h tending east to northeasterly 20 to 30 km/h in the morning then tending east to southeasterly 15 to 25 km/h in the evening”. I have also attached the Windfinder forecast FYI. Both indicate the wind will drop tomorrow and swing NE. We generally are ready to fire early afternoon, so we are expecting light to moderate NE winds at this time and the dust cloud produced should blow south of Sellicks Beach.