Anglesea Mine Lease Renewal
 
Alcoa has guaranteed that over 90% of its mine lease in Anglesea will remain protected and managed similar to a national park, after voluntarily re-negotiating the terms of its State Agreement with the Victorian Government.

In 1961 Alcoa was granted a right to explore for and mine brown coal on a 7,145 hectare lease at Anglesea under a State Agreement – the Mines Aluminium Agreement – which was ratified by the Mines (Aluminium Agreement) Act 1961 (MAAA). This 100 year lease had an initial 50 year term and an option to extend the Agreement for an additional 50 year term.
 
In 2011, as the end of the initial 50 year term of the Agreement approached, Alcoa sought to extend the Agreement for a further 50 years to ensure long term security and cost effective energy supply for its business in Victoria.

As part of this process, and over a number of years, Alcoa entered into discussions with the Victorian Government to modernise the terms of the Mines Aluminium Agreement. Written 50 years ago, the Agreement was outdated and while the mine and power station have kept pace with the current standards in operations, this was not reflected in the Agreement. 

There were no financial or legal incentives for Alcoa to modernise the terms of the Agreement. This voluntary move is consistent with the commitment to dialogue and engagement Alcoa has displayed throughout its long history in Victoria.

In the amended State Agreement Alcoa has guaranteed that it will restrict its current and future coal mining operations to within a 665 hectare area of the 7,145 hectare lease area. The remaining 6,400 hectares of Anglesea Heathland – over 90% of the lease area - will continue to be cooperatively managed by Alcoa, the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and Parks Victoria.

Alcoa has a detailed coal mining plan in place until 2016. Beyond this time and within the restricted lease area, a new coal mining plan will be required. Alcoa will begin work on these plans shortly after a rigorous process to incorporate the results of relevant technical, social, environmental and economic assessments.

During Alcoa’s discussions with the community to date, two common questions have been raised: why has Alcoa pursued a 50 year lease for brown coal in a carbon constrained economy and will that absolve Alcoa from looking to renewable energy sources in the future?

In order to answer the first question, some background information is required. The Anglesea power station provides 40% of the power needs for Alcoa’s Point Henry aluminium smelter and associated rolling mill, and therefore plays a critical role in Alcoa’s Victorian operations. Alcoa’s operations provide direct employment for over 1100 people in the Geelong and Surf Coast region, injecting more than $154 million dollars in wages and salaries into the local economy each year, and purchasing goods and services from over 1,000 local suppliers.

The company sought the second 50 year term of its lease to provide the business certainty required to secure future investment in the Anglesea and Geelong Alcoa operations.  It does not absolve Alcoa from its responsibility to act in the face of climate change - nor does it mean Alcoa has been sitting on its hands to date.
 
Alcoa has implemented a number of improvement projects on site and continue to look for new ones through its Environment Improvement Plan.
 
To answer the second question and clarify Alcoa’s position on looking to renewable energy sources in the future, Alcoa is continuing its discussions with Loy Yang Power (via our joint Carbon Reduction Agreement) and Greenearth Energy (via the MOI signed by both companies) to investigate renewable energy sources. Alcoa’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions will continue. If renewable energy sources become available at the scale and price that meets Alcoa’s business needs, they will certainly be considered.
               
Alcoa Anglesea’s two formal community consultation groups, the Anglesea Heath Consultative Committee and the Alcoa Anglesea Community Consultation Network (CCN) have been briefed on the project’s progress.  The members of both groups have agreed to continued involvement in all subject areas including mine planning.
 
Membership to the Alcoa Anglesea CCN is open to anyone, but attendees must RSVP prior to the meetings via 5263-4249 or angleseaps@alcoa.com.au. For more information on the Alcoa Anglesea CCN click here.
 
Alcoa will continue to post updates on this page.

Download the latest Frequently Asked Questions on the Anglesea Mine Lease Renewal process
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Frequently Asked Questions


Read the latest FAQ document on the Anglesea Mine Lease Renewal process - updated 25 October 2011
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Anglesea Heath Management Plan


Read the management agreement for the Anglesea Heath, Alcoa's lease area
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Anglesea Park Note


Read Parks Victoria's Park Note for Anglesea Heath
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Alcoa ... part of the solution


Find out more about Alcoa’s response to climate change
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It takes about one tonne of Anglesea coal to produce 1.3 megawatt hours of power, compared to around two tonnes of coal that it takes to generate the same power in the La Trobe Valley area.



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Alcoa Anglesea’s land management program is independently audited and has ISO 14001 accreditation.



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Alcoa Anglesea has been carrying out progressive mine rehabilitation since the 1970s.