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Botanical Diversity

Restoring the Botanical Richness of the Jarrah Forest 
 
South Western Australia is renowned for its diverse flora and is identified as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Restoring the botanical richness in our rehabilitated forest is a critical objective for Alcoa.
 
Efforts to improve plant species richness in rehabilitated mine pits commenced in the mid 1970's with the first studies into the seed content of forest soils. In 1990 Alcoa's rehabilitated areas had about 65% of the plant species richness of forest plots in the adjacent un-mined forest. By 1995 this had risen to 80%.
 
We achieved a significant milestone in 2001 when the average species richness of all our rehabilitated mined areas reached 100% at both our Huntly and Willowdale mines. To achieve this result, Alcoa's research team, in collaboration with university academics and students, developed new practices and technologies in the areas of seed treatment, seed application, topsoil handling, mine planning and native plant propagation.
 
Improving our botanical diversity from 65% to 100% was the result of a 10 year research and development program which involved continual improvement in all stages of the mine rehabilitation process, including mine planning.  
 

Large Jarrah forest

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The unique jarrah forest of Western Australia.



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The jarrah forest is home to many diverse species of plants. Alcoa aims to restore all of these back into rehabilitated areas.