We have a fully integrated business planning process designed to protect ecosystems and minimise biodiversity impacts.
This includes land management activities such as conservation of high biodiversity value areas, pre-clearance surveys and progressive rehabilitation. Information on our framework for land management, Intelligent Land Management, can be found here.
Our business planning process includes biodiversity risk and opportunity analysis which is undertaken at the project planning and implementation phase.
Biodiversity considerations are part of our mine plans and, where possible, we seek to avoid impacts to sensitive features. To manage potential impacts, we collect biodiversity baseline activity and implement controls consistent with the biodiversity mitigation hierarchy (see Diagram 1).
We establish environmental outcome targets for biodiversity, developed on a two-yearly cycle, with the aim of contributing to enduring environmental benefits for important ecosystems.
Our environment standards align with the ICMM principles for sustainable mining and commitments for mining and protected areas, including the commitment to not mine or explore in World Heritage Areas and to respect legally designated protected areas. Our mitigation hierarchy process, illustrated in Diagram 1, aims to achieve no overall negative impacts on biodiversity. We seek to primarily avoid and minimise potential impacts, then rehabilitate areas no longer required for mining or processing operations. Where there are residual adverse impacts, we offset land to ensure that high value biodiversity land is protected from future disturbance.
We report annually on our land and rehabilitation performance, in our Sustainable Development Report 2021.
For operations with a biodiversity-related material risk, we undertake a detailed biodiversity assessment that includes the potential impact from the disturbance footprint, cumulative impact assessment and climate modelling specific to the risk. Controls are developed and implemented that align with regulatory requirements and reduce the biodiversity risk consistent with the mitigation hierarchy (Diagram 1, above).
Through effective rehabilitation programs, we aim to restore similar ecosystem services where we operate, including supporting projects which provide resilience to climate change impacts.
Where possible, to minimise our operational impacts, we perform progressive rehabilitation activities in parallel with our mining activities. We do this by integrating rehabilitation into the mine planning process and ongoing operations.
By including rehabilitation as part of the mine plan we benefit from operating efficiencies, leading to a reduction in costs and improved environmental outcomes. For example, equipment that is not fully utilised for mining can be used to undertake rehabilitation. Progressive rehabilitation ensures a well-planned and tracked process that continually establishes biodiversity values and prevents soil erosion.
We also have extensive programs designed to monitor the performance of our rehabilitation against specific approved performance criteria.
We've formed a partnership to help protect the local environment.Read more
Cerro Matoso is undertaking a pilot Intelligent Land Management Project.Read more