Biodiversity and Mine Rehabilitation

We operate in a manner that aims to minimize our environmental impact and promote sustainable land use.


We endorse biodiversity conservation, and we are committed to the mitigation hierarchy of avoidance, minimization, restoration and offsets during the lifecycle stages of our operations.

In 2020, we published our Biodiversity Policy, which encapsulates the requirements set out in our corporate Biodiversity Standard. The standard requires each site to conduct an assessment, identify material risks to biodiversity and implement a biodiversity action plan to manage these risks. For new sites and major expansions of existing sites, the standard sets an ambition of achieving no net loss of biodiversity.

We have developed and implemented biodiversity action plans at 13 locations. At each of these sites, the biodiversity action plan:

For nearly two decades, Alcoa Foundation has provided essential support to the Conservancy’s work to protect and restore nature around the world. In this critical decade for the planet, its support could not be more important. The Foundation has been a partner on efforts across three continents: from restoration of the Peel-Harvey Estuary in Australia; to projects to increase the capacity of our Indigenous partners to steward millions of acres of land in Australia, Brazil and Canada; to the restoration of 900,000 trees in Brazil’s threatened Atlantic Rainforest.”

Jeffrey Parrish
Global Managing Director for Protect Oceans, Lands and Water
The Nature Conservancy

  • Identifies the biodiversity within the area of direct management control or significant influence, including the presence of listed threatened species and communities, in context with surrounding land;
  • Assesses potential impacts, both positive and negative;
  • Develops a range of strategies aimed at minimizing or mitigating biodiversity impacts;
  • Informs our employees and communities in which we operate about the importance of biodiversity protection, and encourages their participation in biodiversity initiatives; and
  • Sets and reports performance against site-specific targets.

Our six operating locations that do not have a biodiversity plan had completed a biodiversity risk gap analysis by the end of 2020. For sites where material biodiversity risks were identified, we plan to complete or update risk assessments and action plans in 2021.

Mine Rehabilitation

We strive to lessen the impact of our mining operations by minimizing the environmental footprint for each mine. This includes minimizing the land disturbed for mining and progressively rehabilitating disturbed areas that are no longer required for operations.

Our goal is to maintain a corporate-wide running five-year average ratio of 1:1 or better (meaning less than one) for active mining disturbance (excluding long-term infrastructure) to mine rehabilitation. This will manage net expansion in the area of land disturbed.

The ratio for the 2016 to 2020 period was 0.92:1, which indicates we had more areas rehabilitated or transferred to other land users compared to new disturbance.

Mining Land Disturbed/Land Rehabilitated

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Mining Land Disturbed/Land Rehabilitated

Open Mine Area
(Cumulative as of year-end)
Area Disturbed
Area Rehabilitated
2016 15,283 1,028 646
2017 15,448 1,173 1,008
2018 15,769 1,243 923
2019 15,805 1,368 1,140
2020 15,636 1,354 1,523

Case Study

    Putting ‘Mussel’ into Reef Restoration

    They might not be typical gardeners, but residents, groups and schoolchildren are volunteering to tend to about 80 shellfish gardens in the Peel-Harvey Estuary in Western Australia.

    Read more >