part of the solution
 
world leader in mine rehabilitation
"It’s quite amazing when you go back to the areas that we’ve rehabilitated.  You can’t even tell there was ever any mining activity there.  These areas have been restored into such a healthy jarrah forest once again."  David Della-Pona, Employee, Huntly Mine.
 
Alcoa is committed to the highest standards of environmental performance and is leading the resources industry in environmental rehabilitation. 
 
Alcoa mines bauxite in Western Australia which is essential to the aluminium production process.  In Victoria, we mine brown coal at Anglesea for our power station at the same location.  The energy produced at Anglesea provides around 40% of the power requirements for our Point Henry aluminium smelter.
 
Mining is a transient land use and rehabilitating disturbed areas is critical to long term sustainability.  Our rehabilitation objective is to re-establish a functional ecosystem that will fulfil the pre-mining forest land uses including conservation, timber production, water catchment and recreation.  Re-establishing a forest on mined areas, as similar to the original forest as possible, is the best way to achieve all of these goals.
 
"I’ve worked for Alcoa for 26 years so I know that getting the jarrah forest back to the way it was is a tricky task and one that takes time, but once it has been re-established it's really satisfying," David said.
 
“Over the years, improvements have been made to the quality of the tree planting in rehab. We no longer plant trees in rows, as we once did, and now the final product looks increasingly natural.”
 
Alcoa rehabilitates about 500 hectares of forest a year in the Darling Range south of Perth, Western Australia.  We aim to return 100% of plant species richness in our rehabilitated areas.  This milestone was achieved in 2001, which made Alcoa the first mining company in the world to achieve this.
 
We are a recognised world leader in environmental rehabilitation.  Last year, Alcoa once again received a prestigious Golden Gecko Award from the WA State Government recognising the closure, remediation and rehabilitation of Alcoa’s first bauxite mine at Jarrahdale, comprising 4090 hectares. 
 
In 2005, the Victorian Government recognised Alcoa with a Strzelecki Highly Commended Award for Management of the Natural Environment for our mine rehabilitation work at Anglesea.
 
Alcoa was also the first mining company in the world to be recognised by the United Nations Environmental Program by inclusion in its Global 500 Roll of Honour for our mine rehabilitation in WA.

When Alcoa started mining, we made a decision that we must operate in a manner that exceeded both government and public expectations in the area of environmental management - and we continue to follow this philosophy today.

The ability to restore a piece of altered land relies heavily on a good understanding of the area’s ecology.  Alcoa’s environmental staff work in collaboration with local universities, government agencies and private researchers in understanding the forest ecosystems to ensure Alcoa rehabilitation is second to none.


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