In response to these issues the Goldfields Dust Abatement Committee (GDAC) was formed in the 1970’s. This committee fenced off areas around the city, planted trees and monitored dust levels. Then in 1994 the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Land care Group (KBULG) continued on with similar work and KCGM formed their very own team of Environmental officers that monitor dust levels and make sure contractors for KCGM and KCGM their self meet the requirements of the DEC.
KCGM along with KBULG has also completed extensive rehabilitation work. A "Green Belt" of around 730 hectares, including 210,000 trees now exists between the mining area and the city.
KCGM has managed a regional dust monitoring network since 1993. Data from this network indicates that mining does not appear to be a major source of dust at monitor sites in the city. Earthworks at developing subdivisions and the accumulation of mud on sealed roads are local issues, but mining may also be an indirect contributor.
However, late in 2000 public attention focused on the impact of dust in residential areas from blasting. Following consultation and approval from the Department of Environment and Water Catchment Protection (DEWCP), KCGM revised the Dust Monitoring and Management Programme in April 2001.
On the 29th January 2009 the Minister for Environment; Youth released Ministerial Statement No. 782 approving the Fimiston Gold Mine Operations Extension (Stage 3) and Mine Closure Planning. This approval required KCGM to implement the Fimiston Air Quality Management Plan (September 2007) in May 2009.
The objective of the Fimiston Air Quality Management Plan (FAQMP) is: "To ensure that dust emissions do not adversely affect the environmental values or the health, welfare and amenity of people and land uses by meeting statutory requirements and acceptable standards." More specifically the FAQMP aims "To pro-actively manage site operations to ensure the 24-hour average PM10 concentrations are less than the NEPM guidelines at the monitoring locations and to reduce the occurrence of short term high concentration events that may occur as a result of KCGM's operations."
The revision of the FAQMP includes a significant expansion and modernisation of the ambient dust monitoring programme to include real time dust (PM10) monitoring data. The dust monitoring network now consists of seven continuous dust (PM10) monitors between the Fimiston Open Pit and residential areas. Monitoring site locations are shown in the Fimiston Dust Monitoring Network. Dust monitors are now also co-located with the wind speed and wind direction monitoring stations at MEX and CASS (MTC). Other than the Hannans Golf Course (HGC) monitor (which acts as a control site), the number and location of monitors aims to provide representative data of ambient dust (PM10) concentrations in residential areas in proximity to the Fimiston Operations.
The 24 hour average dust measurements for the last 30 days are available in the KCGM Dust Report.