Excellence in Environmental Management category

Metso Minerals is sponsoring the Excellence in Environmental Management Award.

Metso Minerals is sponsoring the Excellence in Environmental Management Award.

In this category, entrants are judged on how well their technologies, innovative processes or techniques have improved environmental standards.

Today, companies are acutely aware of their environmental footprint and are seeking out innovative solutions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Previous finalists have included the Springvale Colliery Delta Water Transfer scheme.

Delta’s power stations were taking up to 60 Ml per day from the Cox’s River, one of the main feeder streams to Sydney’s water supply.

The power stations had identified a potential shortage of water for future power generation.

Springvale Coal came up with a solution to the water shortage plaguing the area, by redirecting the mine water output to the neighbouring Delta power station.

2007 Winner

Alcan’s Gove mine won the 2007 excellence in environmental management award.

The Gove environment has a unique combination of bio-geographical, climatic and site specific features that are inappropriate for rehabilitation programs used elsewhere in the world. When Alcan’s rehabilitation trials commenced in 1972 the team created a unique rehabilitation technique to suit the mines unique environment.

Under the rehabilitation program, seeds and plant species from the area to be mined are collected with the assistance of local indigenous community members, carefully cleaned, catalogued, and stored.

Tall trees are felled and the cleared areas are left for two or three years.This allows the soil and plant species of the under-storey to propagate. The topsoil is removed and retained for use in the rehabilitation process after bauxite ore is extracted. The mined area is deep-ripped to promote drainage, aeration and root penetration, and topsoil is re-laid over prepared areas.

This step, which is the nucleus of the regeneration program, preserves the micro-organisms in the soil and encourages plant regeneration.

Direct placement of the topsoil onto the area marked for rehabilitation provides the most cost-effective total mining solution.

2006 Winner

The Benambra mine site won the 2006 Excellence in Environmental management award for its innovation in site rehabilitation and restoration.

The site employed a range of techniques to recover the problematic site to industry best standard, while meeting the requirements of government, stakeholders and the local community.

Some of the techniques employed included leveling of the tailings dam with a dredge; mixing limestone sand with the redistributed tailings to counteract the potential for acid generation when the tailings were disturbed and potentially oxidized; and the placement of six hectares of Jute mat to act as an oxygen consumption layer above the tailings.

For information on entering this category, email jessica.darnbrough@reedbusiness.com.au or call Jessica on 02 9422 2909.

Entries close Friday 27 June.

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