Colombia’s largest mine turns to Australian tech to reduce environmental impacts

The Cerrejón mine in Colombia, operated by Carbones del Cerrejón Limited, has embraced environmental monitoring technology EnviroSuite to control the environmental impact of their mining activities, facilitating improved safety, sustainability and production outcomes.

As one of the world’s largest open cut coal producers, the Cerrejón mine can potentially expose the environment and local communities to significant volumes of dust and air pollution and is subject to regulatory and community pressures.

To control any risks to local communities and the environment Carbones del Cerrejón has entered negotiations with Pacific Environment, developers of EnviroSuite, to implement their cloud-based technology.

“The pressure of environmental regulation is increasing on a global scale,” said Robin Ormerod, Managing Director & Founder at Pacific Environment.

“It’s becoming increasingly important for large mining organisations to monitor their impact on the environment as they are being held more accountable and regulation is demanding evidence of improved consideration of the environment and the safety of local communities.

“This shift toward regulation is also resonating in many other industries, such as large scale shipping and agriculture.”

Carbones del Cerrejón undertook a rigorous tender process involving submitters from the USA, Spain and Australia – among which EnviroSuite was a unique offering – to address the Cerrejón mine’s requirements.

“We at Pacific Environment have been very excited about this deal for a long time now, we maintain that we have the best solution to a project of this scale and are eager to implement our technology,” said Ormerod.

“Now that the tender process is complete we can begin planning the instalment of EnviroSuite’s modules across the Cerrejón mine and capturing data.

“Our site mapping technology for an open coal mine such as this is unrivalled, it allows analysts to view the dust concentrations of each area on the Cerrejón site live across a real-world image of the mine.”

The technology monitors air quality through modules placed around the mine, which captures the readings and feeds the information live to a cloud-based software.

The software then displays a breakdown of the data and maps it across an image of the site on any device with EnviroSuite installed. 

As large international mines feel the pressure of regulation they are increasingly turning to technological solutions across the globe to provide quantitative evidence of sustainable practices.

“There’s never been a better time to be an Australian technology provider or developer,” said Ormerod.

“The Australian Government has reinforced its interest in developing our technology industry which should result in further funding to our sector and more opportunities to innovate.

“I would suggest that providers try not to limit themselves to the national market given the rising global demand for technology, there are opportunities in all corners of the world.”