Alcoa celebrates 1 billionth tonne

Alcoa has celebrated a new historic milestone, with the workforce having achieved 1 billion tonnes of bauxite mined over their 53 years in Western Australia.

President Alcoa Mining Garret Dixon congratulated past and present employees on their hard work for the company at a commemorative celebration in Mandurah last night.

“We’re very proud of this achievement and also our decades-long, internationally recognised land rehabilitation program – one of the most critical parts of the mining process which sees jarrah forest ecosystems restored,” Dixon said.

“In Australia, our bauxite is used to produce alumina to supply approximately eight per cent of world alumina demand and we make alumina as low as one third of the greenhouse footprint per tonne of product of some of our Asian competitors.”

Dixon said Alcoa had made a significant contribution to the WA and Australian economy, injecting billions of dollars each year into Peel and South-West communities, the State and the nation.

At present Alcoa employs approximately 4,000 people and spends more than $2.2 billion per annum in local procurement and payroll, as well as millions of dollars and thousands of volunteering hours into local community groups and projects.

The Honorable Nigel Hallett MLC attended to represent Premier Colin Barnett, and the celebration was also joined by Huntly mine’s Jim Blacklock, Alcoa’s longest serving mining employee.

“Since joining the company in December 1971 (44 years ago), I’ve seen huge change,” Blacklock said.

“The automation of processes and the volume of production are what impress me the most. But by far it is the people who have given me the greatest enjoyment; they’re brilliant.”

Alcoa named a mining road after Jim Blacklock in recognition of his commitment and service to the company, in a tradition that Alcoa has upheld for other long-serving employees such as Alcoa’s first WA Manager of Mines, Jim Langford, who had the popular Langford Park, located at Alcoa’s rehabilitated Jarrahdale mine site, named after him.

Langford Park opened in 1975 and is a popular family picnic spot with mountain bike and bridle trails.

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