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happy 30th birthday marrinup nursery
This month we celebrate the 30th anniversary of our Marrinup Nursery in Western Australia.

Marrinup Nursery is located 5 kilometres from Dwellingup, not far from our Huntly Mine.  Today, it provides seeds and plants for the rehabilitation of mined areas at both the Huntly and Willowdale bauxite mines. 

Alcoa is a recognised world leader in mine site rehabilitation.  We were the first mining company in the world to achieve 100 per cent plant species richness in our rehabilitation areas of WA. Much of this recognition is thanks to the work of our dedicated Nursery employees - both past and present.

Almost one hundred people attended a celebration event this month to mark the pearl anniversary.

Managing Director, Alan Cransberg, who joined Alcoa back in 1980, explained that establishing Marrinup Nursery was his very first project as an Engineer with Alcoa.  

“Marrinup Nursery is an excellent example of why I have stayed with Alcoa for 30 years, I am proud of the company and its Values,” Alan said.

Director of Environment & Sustainability, and former Marrinup Nursery Supervisor, John Gardner paid tribute to three employees who continue to work at the Nursery 30 years on - Barbara Stevens, Val Brown and Susan Craig.  

Alcoa’s 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.

Marrinup features a state-of-the-art tissue culture laboratory, successful in restoring a high diversity of plant species for our rehabilitation - no other mining company in the world has comparable facilities.
 
Mine site rehabilitation is a complex and scientific process and some plant species, which need to be returned to the land during rehabilitation, needed a helping hand.

“There are several ways plants can be returned to rehabilitation, but some plant species do not produce viable seed, or if they do it is difficult to collect, and some don’t readily germinate - these are what we call ‘recalcitrant’ species and they need to be grown in a nursery in a process called ‘tissue culture” said Manager of Mines Bill Knight.

Tissue culture is essentially growing plant shoots in a sterile, controlled, environment usually in sealed jars.  The plant shoots are grown on media which contains nutrients for plant growth; minerals, amino acids, vitamins, hormones, sugar and water – all set in a jelly called agar. Every four weeks the plant material is divided and placed into fresh agar and within a few months thousands of plants can be produced.

Mining Environmental Research Manger, Dr. Ian Colquhoun, said: “Tissue culture requires a lot of patience, perseverance and hard work, and last year we grew our one millionth tissue cultured plant

“The success of Marrinup and our rehab programs is a credit to our scientists and nursery staff,” Dr Colqhoun said.

For more about bauxite mining rehabilitation visit: www.alcoa.com.au/land


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Alcoa Marrinup employees celebrate the Nursery's 30th anniversary



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30 year Marrinup employees: Val Brown, Susan Craig and Barbara Stevens cut the anniversary cake



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Mining Environmental Research Manger Dr. Ian Colquhoun



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Marrinup Nursery employees celebrate



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Inside the Marrinup Nursery



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An example of Alcoa's jarrah forest rehabilitation