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We recognise the importance of protecting biodiversity and ecosystem services and aim to achieve no net loss for all new projects and major expansions. It is our responsibility to minimise the impacts to the environment and to rehabilitate land disturbed by our activities. 

Our approach

Our approach

Our approach is guided by the ICMM Mining Principles: 2 – Decision Making, 4 – Risk Management, 6 – Environmental Performance and 7 – Conservation of Biodiversity, and the associated Position Statement on Mining and Protected Areas.

Our commitment to biodiversity is supported by our Sustainability Policy and managed through our Chief Technical Officer-approved internal environment and climate change standard.

Our internal standard is supplemented by operational procedures that account for local and regional biodiversity and conservation needs and regulatory requirements. As part of our approach to biodiversity conservation, we:

  • Avoid exploring or mining in World Heritage Areas and respect legally designated protected areas;
  • Aim to achieve no net loss outcomes for all new projects and major expansions to existing projects;
  • Take action to address the decline in biodiversity, with a focus on minimising our operational impacts through application of the biodiversity mitigation hierarchy, and collaborate with others to contribute towards nature positive outcomes within the broader bioregions in which we operate; and
  • Respond to changing disclosure requirements which we expect to evolve as frameworks such as the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures mature.

We require all operations to undertake a risk and opportunity screening exercise at least every five years, including not only direct operational aspects but also the pressures on the surrounding bioregions, which could be influenced by factors such as the physical impacts of climate change and changes in land use.

The process enables us to identify opportunities to promote improved biodiversity and conservation outcomes within the bioregions in which we operate, such as investing in regional conservation initiatives and collaborating with other stakeholders on biodiversity research.

We plan to use the outcomes of the risk and opportunity screening process to update our operational and project risk profiles and identify opportunities to collaborate on and promote improved land and biodiversity outcomes within the bioregions. The outcomes will also allow us to identify, prioritise and provision for strategic land acquisitions, mitigation measures, conservation initiatives (including biodiversity research) and progressive rehabilitation activities required to minimise operational risks.

We report annually on our biodiversity performance, in our Sustainable Development Report.

We require our operations to apply the mitigation hierarchy to minimise the impact of our operations through avoidance, minimisation, rehabilitation, and offsets, where appropriate. All required operations have a biodiversity management plan in place. 

In FY23, we focused on expanding implementation of the mitigation hierarchy which is intended to achieve our ambition of no net loss for all new projects and major expansions of existing projects.

Avoidance - The mitigation hierarchy starts with avoiding adverse impacts on biodiversity before actions and decisions are taken. As per the ICMM Performance Expectation 7.1, we are committed to avoiding exploring or mining in World Heritage Areas and to respecting legally designated protected areas.

Minimisation - Minimisation aims to reduce the duration, intensity and extent of adverse impacts that cannot be realistically avoided. This typically involves threat abatement projects such as weed management, invasive species control and biosecurity measures.

Rehabilitation - Rehabilitation consists of measures to repair degradation or damage to specific biodiversity features and ecosystems. Progressive rehabilitation refers to rehabilitating areas as they become available and are no longer needed for operational requirements.

Offset residual impact - Where adverse impacts on biodiversity cannot be avoided, mitigated or rehabilitated, conservation actions may be applied to other areas to offset that residual impact.