• Air quality monitoring to control the environmental impact of a copper mine

Air Monitoring

Air quality monitoring to control the environmental impact of a copper mine

Mar 12 2024

First Quantum Minerals approached Kunak to provide an air quality network so they could enhance their environmental monitoring capabilities at their Cobre Panama open-cast copper mine, located in Donoso, on Panama’s Caribbean coast, to enable them to take fast, decisive action when levels of pollutant gas and particulates reached high levels.

The mine operators needed real-time monitoring data at several key points of concern at the site. Kunak AIR Pro stations were deployed around the mine; these were powered by solar panels, so there was no need for a grid connection. The AIR Pro stations included anemometers to enable First Quantum Minerals’ environmental assessment team to not only evaluate pollution levels precisely and in real-time but also to understand the direction of the source of the polluting emissions, from the pollutant roses and polar graphs generated from the data thanks to the Kunak AIR Cloud software.

The data collected by the monitoring stations and its integrated meteorological probes is processed by the Kunak AIR Cloud platform, providing a detailed and accurate analysis of the source of the various pollutants. The system of alerts for exceeding thresholds enables the mine’s operators to act rapidly in advance of a major problem as well as verify the effectiveness of the actions taken.

The mine’s pollution levels had been a cause for concern across Panama. The Kunak system that was installed has enabled them to measure, analyse and ultimately control the mine’s environmental impact thereby protecting personnel, residents living in Donoso as well as its environment.

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IET 34.2 March 2024

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