March 18, 2011

An update on the status of the Anglesea lease renewal

"Supplying 40% of its energy requirements since 1969, the Anglesea Power Station has played a critical role in the success of Alcoa’s Smelting and Rolling operations at Point Henry in Geelong.

It has been Alcoa’s stated intent for many years to exercise its second 50 year mining lease renewal option (post 2011) under the terms of the Mines (Aluminium Agreement) Act 1961 and it will therefore continue to be a critical part of Point Henry’s future.
Many people will be aware Alcoa has the right to continue under its current terms for a further 50 years but has elected to enter into a process with the Victorian Government to revise the terms. There are no financial or legal incentives for the company to do so and our commitment to dialogue is a further example of the voluntary leadership Alcoa has shown in relation to environmental stewardship and other matters throughout 48 years of continuous operation in Victoria.
In recent weeks there has been increased community and media interest in the status of the renewal process and future mining arrangements that Alcoa is considering.
While the details of discussions with the government remain confidential, Alcoa has developed a Work Plan as part of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) requirements of the ongoing process. The Work Plan is a technical document which identifies coal reserves within Alcoa’s lease area that may be subjected to future mining. It will be used to provide guidance to operational staff at the mine, regulatory authorities and other stakeholders to ensure professional management standards and to facilitate decision making on further, more detailed mine planning in the future.
The coal reserves identified in the Work Plan are consistent with those shared with the local community as early as 2006 - no new coal has been identified nor is Alcoa pursuing any additional reserves outside the Work Plan or as part of the renewal terms.
It is important to note that Alcoa has a current coal mining plan in place to 2016. The company does not have detailed plans necessary for beyond this point. The development of these is set to commence in 2012 and they will be based upon logical mine sequences that incorporate the relevant social, environmental and economic conditions of the day. Community consultation- as always and as expected- will be a critical component of this process.
The framework for community consultation is being developed at present and the scope will include the development of environment improvement and biodiversity action plans. There are of course many current initiatives that will be incorporated into the process including our continued commitment to co-manage the Anglesea Heath with Parks Victoria, participation in a proposed update of the Anglesea Heath Management Plan and the further development of a climate change strategy that has overseen the recent signing of a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) with Greenearth Energy and the impending announcement of over $500 000 of grant funding for bio-energy research and carbon reduction partnership programs.
In the meantime, our regular operations continue as usual. Our associated consultation activities also continue and I look forward to keeping you informed on this and other matters relating to our business."
Stephanie Pearce
Anglesea Power Station Manager
Alcoa of Australia