May 23, 2013
Alcoa’s project in Poços de Caldas receives 15th Brazilian Mining and Metal-working Industry’s Excellence Prize
Award-winning project has an environmental focus and proves the success of the company’s methodology for rehabilitating bauxite mines in Poços de Caldas (MG)
A project developed by Alcoa employees, “Methodologies for recovering bauxite mines at altitude using native grass” won the 15th Brazilian Mining and Metal-working Industry’s Excellence Prize, organized by Minérios & Minerales magazine, in the Environment category.
The award ceremony, which had the objective of publicize the best technologies, processes and concepts applied by mining companies throughout Brazil, was held on May 14 in Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais State) and attended by the winning project’s authors, Paulo Roberto Zanatta, a mining consultant from the Alcoa unit in Poços de Caldas (MG) and Paula Marlieri, a forest engineer, also from Alcoa’s unit in Poços de Caldas (MG).
The prize-winning project has an environmental focus and proves the success of the methodology used for rehabilitating bauxite mines in what were originally fields at altitude where Aristida sp grass predominates, in such a way that the original native vegetation becomes re-established. “The identification of native grasses (local vegetation) and recognition of the fact that they were part of the Atlantic Forest biome were essential for implementing a high level rehabilitation technology. Seeds of Aristida sp (a native grass) were introduced in the mined-out area, leading to colonization and natural vegetation cover”, explains Marlieri.
“This recognition shows Alcoa’s commitment to the environment, since sustainability always permeated Alcoa’s strategy. An example of this is the fact that the rehabilitation of mined-out areas in the country carried out by Alcoa has served as a benchmark for environmental legislation”, emphasizes Nilson Souza, Sustainability Director for Alcoa Latin America & the Caribbean.
A second company project, “Alcoa bauxite mine values labor in Juruti (Para State) and encourages the participation of women in mining”, developed by an employee in the Juruti (PA) unit of Alcoa, was recognized by winning the prize in the Human Resources and Training category.
Alcoa Alumínio S.A. is a subsidiary of Alcoa Inc. which is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. The company employs approximately 61,000 people in 31 countries and for the eleventh consecutive year the company is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Alcoa is present in Latin America and the Caribbean where it has operations in Brazil, Jamaica and Suriname and about 7,000 employees. This year, the company completes 125 years of operations in the world.
In Brazil the company operates in the whole of the aluminum production chain, from bauxite mining to the production of transformed products. Alcoa has six production units and three offices in the states of Maranhão, Minas Gerais, Pará, Pernambuco, Santa Catarina, São Paulo and the Federal District. The company also has shareholdings in four hydroelectric power stations: Machadinho and Barra Grande on the border of the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul; Serra do Facão in Goiás; and Estreito, between Maranhão and Tocantins. In 2012, Alcoa recorded revenues of R$ 2,6 billion in Brazil. In the same year it was considered a benchmark in sustainability, being one of the year’s 21 model companies in the Guia EXAME de Sustentabilidade [EXAME Magazine’s Sustainability Guide], besides being recognized as one of the Best Companies to Work for the eleventh consecutive year and Best Company for Women to Work in Brazil, by the Great Place to Work Institute. Further information can be found at www.alcoa.com.br.