BOYNE Smelters Limited claimed last night it was spending millions to reduce its dust and fluoride emissions into the community.
Over 30 people gathered in Tannum Sands yesterday to discuss the newly released Boyne Smelters air emissions study, which was initiated in part after a fire at the smelter in 2007.
Attendees questioned smelter representatives on a range of environmental concerns and fears, including whether the smelter could prevent similar incidents occurring again.
Smelter general manager Brian Cooper said he was sure they would be prevented in the future.
Management from the company also acknowledged that reducing dust, fluoride and benzo(a)pyrene were the biggest issues facing the smelter.
Health, safety and environment officer Allan Milne said the study had found the smelter was “far too dusty – we need to work on reducing our dust”.
Modelling had also suggested the smelter had potential for elevated levels of fluoride past the site’s boundary, he said.
However nearby vegetation showed no adverse effects from fluoride and vegetation was more sensitive than humans, he added.
Mr Cooper said the company was rebuilding its carbon bake furnace which would reduce emissions of benzo(a)pyrene.
Two more transfer stations were under construction to reduce dust spillage and 12 new cranes would be introduced, also to reduce dust spillage.
The smelter is spending $685 million on improving dust and fluoride emissions, and $30 million on the carbon bake furnace rebuild.
The two new transfer stations will cost $11 million.
Boyne Smelters Limited is the largest aluminium smelter in Australia and produced 558,000 tonnes of aluminium in 2008. The smelter employs 1200 staff and contractors.