25th anniversary for gas pipeline
This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBP) in Western Australia. Twenty five years ago, Alcoa’s projects underwrote the pipeline’s development and opened up the south west region for economic prosperity.
Today, Alcoa is a 20% owner of the Pipeline, and we continue to find solutions to energy security with gas exploration projects in the Perth and Canning Basins.
gas security for wa critical
Australia must get the balance right between expanding and maximising LNG exports while ensuring the country’s own domestic needs, according to Alcoa of Australia Managing Director Alan Cransberg.
Speaking at the 9th Energy in WA Conference in Perth recently, Mr Cransberg expressed his concern for energy security and gas availability for the domestic market in Western Australia, saying it is an issue effecting households, businesses and future generations.
“It’s vital for Australia to develop a national energy security strategy for the next 50 to 100 years, to ensure a vibrant domestic gas industry coexists alongside a vibrant LNG industry, and to ensure a secure domestic supply in a competitive market place.”
Mr Cransberg said three things needed to occur to achieve a secure supply in a competitive market.
“First, we need to bring new supplies of gas into the market. We’ve got to find ways to reduce barriers to market entry and to facilitate new players - and we need to look at current regulations around exploration.
“Second, we need to ensure independence of selling arrangements for future gas projects - there are multiple buyers in today’s mature market and they need more choice.
“As new projects develop, there is a great opportunity for some of the world’s largest oil and gas producers to compete for serious business in Western Australia, just as they do in countries all around the world.”
“The third criteria for creating a secure supply in a competitive domestic market, is for the Government to implement policies to ensure we have sufficient available gas for domestic use.
“This is complex but critical to enable competitive businesses to thrive and grow right here at home, to ensure households are well serviced, alongside a robust LNG industry.
“There is no doubt that LNG exports have a wonderful benefit to the WA community, but the community also benefits from local industries, and our local industries need diversity of supply, and to operate in an environment of competitive selling.
“And let’s not forget, gas is a great clean transitional fuel, an important piece in the greenhouse challenge while we pave our way to renewables,” he said.
For Alan’s full speech visit: www.alcoa.com.au/cransbergsays and watch our short video here.
For more on Alcoa and energy visit: www.alcoa.com.au/energy
alcoa’s bauxite mining plans
Bauxite mining at Jarrahdale in Western Australia commenced in 1963 and ceased in 1998. By 2001, the site was fully decommissioned and rehabilitated. In 2007, our bauxite mining operations received a prestigious award from the State Government - a Golden Gecko recognising our environmental excellence in the closure, remediation and rehabilitation of our bauxite mine at Jarrahdale.
Alcoa’s Huntly Mine operates today within an area 20-40km south of Jarrahdale. Over the next 25 years the Huntly Mining operations will move further north, however they will continue to remain more than 10km south of the Jarrahdale town.
There is some proposed logging adjacent to Jarrahdale that is much talked of in the media and the community. This is unrelated to Alcoa’s bauxite mining. Furthermore, no mining is permitted in the forest block, where logging is planned because the area has been zoned as a Management Priority Area by the State Government and mining is specifically excluded.
mine planning & community consultation
Alcoa’s bauxite mining operations are overseen by the Mining and Management Program Liaison Group (MMPLG) which is chaired by the Department of Industry and Resources, on behalf of the Minister for State Development.
The other State Government agencies represented on the MMPLG are the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection (DoCEP), the Water Corporation and the Department of Water. The MMPLG is responsible for reviewing mine plans and associated activities and making recommendations to the Minister for State Development.
As part of our ongoing commitment to the community in which we operate, our mine planning process includes community consultation in current and future mining regions, including annually inviting our neighbours to meet with us to view, discuss and provide feedback on our current and future mine plans. Alcoa considers the feedback received when developing and finalising the Five Year Mine Plan.
Each year, the Forest Products Commission removes any marketable timber from areas, in which mining is planned, within Alcoa’s mining lease. This removal is overseen by the Department of Environment and Conservation which manages the State forest within our lease. Any marketable timber or other wood products (such as fence posts or firewood) within our lease are owned by the State Government. Even without Alcoa being in operation, the Forest Products Commission would still need to remove timber from the jarrah forest to service the timber products industry.
mine rehabilitation – flora and fauna
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.
Alcoa is a recognised world leader in mine site rehabilitation and was the first mining company in the world to achieve 100 per cent plant species richness in our rehabilitated mine site areas. We achieved this milestone in 2001, returning an average of 101 per cent of botanical species to our rehabilitated areas across our Huntly and Willowdale mine rehabilitation sites in Western Australia.
Results (compiled in 2008) from our rehabilitation that was planted in the 2006/ 07 season showed our highest ever return of botanical richness - equal to 108 per cent. This result means that on average there are more species found in a rehabilitated area, compared with an equivalent area of existing unmined forest.
We undertake pre-mining fauna surveys before entering a new mining region. If rare or protected species are found during the surveys, management plans are developed to minimise any impact on them.
We survey fauna including birds, mammals, reptiles and frogs several years in advance of mining activities. There is special emphasis on the distribution and abundance of any locally occurring species officially listed as either rare or specially protected.
Other fauna management activities undertaken by Alcoa include:
Our results from monitoring and research projects have shown that 100 per cent of mammal species, that inhabit upland parts of the forest where mining occurs, have recolonised rehabilitated areas within 10 years.
- fauna monitoring in rehabilitated areas and the surrounding unmined forest;
- return of large logs as fauna habitats to rehabilitated areas;
- translocation of rare or endangered animals into rehabilitated regions; and
- funding fox baiting of the broader forest.
We mine and rehabilitate around 600 hectares of jarrah forest each year in the Darling Range south of Perth. To date, almost 15,000 hectares have been revegetated and restored. Alcoa has cleared just one per cent of Western Australia’s jarrah forest since 1961.
For more visit: www.alcoa.com.au/land
mining at anglesea – did you know?
Alcoa manages 7221 hectares of freehold and leased land in Anglesea, Victoria. Around 7 per cent of this land is used for mining brown coal and generating electricity at our Anglesea Power Station in the same location. The non-mining land is co-managed by Alcoa and Parks Victoria in a unique co-operative management agreement where a resources company and a government agency are working together to manage land for conservation.
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.
The energy produced at Anglesea provides around 40 per cent of the power requirements for our Point Henry aluminium smelter in Geelong – taking pressure off the State grid.
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