Stawell Gold Mines is continuing to prepare its Environment Effects Statement (EES) with a number of technical studies nearing completion.
Stawell Gold Mines General Manager, Troy Cole, said as part of the preparation of the EES, Stawell Gold Mines is undertaking 17 technical studies including air quality, noise, health and social impacts.
"The Air Quality Impact Assessment is nearing completion following the implementation of a continuous dust monitoring system to assess the current air quality levels surrounding Big Hill," Mr Cole said.
The objectives of the Air Quality Impact Assessment are to report on the existing air quality and to assess the potential air quality impacts during the operation and rehabilitation phases of the Project.
Mr Cole said air quality impacts may include particulates from cars and trucks, wood burning, earthmoving operations, agricultural operations and windblown dust from local and regional surface soils.
"URS, the air quality specialists who are completing the assessment, installed two monitoring stations - one to the northwest and one to the south of Big Hill.
"In addition, an Independent Technical Reviewer, approved by the EPA and relevant Government Departments, has been appointed to oversee the work of the technical specialists.
"The results gained will assist in determining the air quality indicators and air quality design criteria for the project and where appropriate, propose management and control measures to prevent or minimise potential adverse air quality impacts on the environment and at sensitive locations."
Mr Cole said Stawell Gold Mines will adopt a proactive approach to preventing adverse impacts on the community as an integral part of managing potential air quality impacts from the Project.
Best practice management controls being considered include:
Use of watering on haul routes and exposed areas (water trucks, water cannons and sprinkler systems).
Use of suppressants on unsealed routes and waste stockpiles.
Reducing the drop heights of earth moving material.
Implementation of vehicle speed limits.
Regular maintenance of all haul routes and mining equipment.
Weather forecasting and condition monitoring.
Stawell Gold Mines is also looking at 'beyond best practice' measures such as treatment of haul roads, and reduction or stopping of work during certain periods depending on the weather conditions.
Full results from the Air Quality Impact Assessment will be available to the community through the EES during the exhibition and public comment process expected in the first quarter of next year.
For further information on the project visit www.crocgold.com/bighill or email SGM.firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/bighilldevelopment and Twitter via Stawell Gold Mines @bighillproject