August 24, 2020

Alcoa’s rehabilitation welcomes another 400,000 plants

ALCOA_Naomi Dekker
Alcoa has recently completed another successful rehabilitation season.

Alcoa Australia is set to meet sustainability targets at its two bauxite mines in the Peel and South West regions of Western Australia, with more than 400,000 seedings planted over recent winter months.

Local south-west business, Seed Shed were contracted to supply and plant more than 130,000 Macrozamia nuts, followed by more than 400,000 native seedlings throughout June and July.

Alcoa Mine Environmental Manager Susanna Beech said both Huntly and Willowdale mines are on track to meet Alcoa’s global sustainability target of achieving a one-to-one ratio of rehabilitation to areas cleared for active mining over the next ten years.

Alcoa has been operating in the south-west jarrah forest since 1963, with approximately 77 per cent of mined areas rehabilitated to date.

“Our aim is to lessen the impact of our mining operations in the jarrah forest by progressively rehabilitating mined areas,” Susanna said.

“We work hard to re-establish a jarrah forest ecosystem that is self-sustaining and consistent with pre-existing land uses of the forest – including highly valued areas for recreation and conservation.

“We are very proud of the fact that self-sustaining forest ecosystems now thrive in areas where Alcoa once mined bauxite.”

“Alcoa’s leading-practice rehabilitation process, which has been developed and continually improved over decades, involves landscaping, pre-ripping, soil return, fauna habitat return, final contour ripping and seeing, recalcitrant planting, fertilising and ongoing monitoring and management.

To date, less than 4 per cent of the jarrah forest within Alcoa’s bauxite mineral lease – or about 1 per cent of the total jarrah forest in the south-west has been mined. Over the entire life of Alcoa’s WA operations, the company expects to mine less than 8% of the mineral lease, or less than 3 per cent of the total jarrah forest.