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Environmental Management

An Overview of Various Environmental Management Issues at Alcoa Western Australian Mining Operations.

 
 
The State Agreement Act and its subsequent amendments is the legislation under which Alcoa operates today. Alcoa’s operations are overseen by the Mining and Management Program Liaison Group (MMPLG), chaired by the Department of Industry and Resources on behalf of the Minister for State Development, representatives from the Department of Water, the Water Corporation and the Department of Environment and Conservation.
 
The MMPLG is responsible for reviewing mine plans and associated activities and making recommendations to the Minister for State Development.
 
All mining-related environmental issues are managed under the Environmental Management System (EMS). 
 
What is an EMS?
 
An Environmental Management System (EMS) provides a systematic framework and process used to assist an organisation in identifying and managing significant environmental impacts that may occur as a result of its activities. It has five basic components
 
•           Environmental Policy
•           Planning
•           Implementation and Operation
•           Checking and Corrective Action
•           Management Review.
 
 
Alcoa’s WA Mining Group has an EMS certified to the international standard ISO 14001.  By implementing an EMS, Alcoa is able to ensure that we continually improve the environmental management of our operations.
 
This management tool forms an integral part of our overall business management.
 
Alcoa regularly works alongside universities, environmental organisations, state government departments and local government, to develop innovative methods and techniques to improve various aspects of its EMS.
 
In 2002, Alcoa was recognised through the WA State Government's prestigious Golden Gecko Award for environmental excellence, winning its fourth Golden Gecko Award for its ongoing rehabilitation program and achieving the goal of restoring 100 per cent plant species richness to rehabilitated mine pits.
 
In September of 2007, Alcoa won another Golden Gecko for the closure, remediation and rehabilitation of Alcoa’s first bauxite Mine at Jarrahdale, comprising 630 hectares of land.
 
Alcoa continues to demonstrate its commitment to achieving environmental excellence in the management of its mining operations.
 


Planning

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Innovative techniques for soil handling and cultivation, seed collection and treatment and plant propagation has made Alcoa one of the best mine site rehabilitators in the world.

The environmental management system

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The environmental management system is a process of continual improvement.

Golden Gecko 2002

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2002 Golden Gecko Award; for achieving the goal of restoring 100 per cent plant species richness to rehabilitated areas at the Huntly and Willowdale mines.

Huntly - before

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A mined area at Huntly prior to rehabilitation.

Huntly - after

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The same mine pit after rehabilitation has been established.