Alcoa wins environmental excellence award
Mining giant Alcoa has won one of the Western Australian resources sector’s most prestigious environmental excellence awards.The Golden Gecko Award was presented to Alcoa World Alumina Australia for the $25m rehabilitation program that followed the closure of the company’s first bauxite mine at Jarrahdale.Western Australian Resources Minister Francis Logan said Alcoa ceased production at its Jarrahdale bauxite mine in 1998 after 35 years of operation and developed a plan that aimed to leave the mine site in a safe and self-sustaining state.“This plan involved the removal of all infrastructure, including buildings, workshops, power lines, water pipes and a sewage treatment plant.“It also saw the removal of contaminated soil and materials, a topsoil screening process to concentrate seed in the soil and the redeployment or retraining of 250 mine staff,” Mr Logan said.Mr Logan said the Jarrahdale project was Alcoa’s fifth Golden Gecko Award, after previously being successful in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2002. AngloGold Ashanti was also awarded a Certificate of Merit for its project at the Sunrise Dam Goldmine.AngloGold Ashanti received its award for using wind energy to power a large groundwater recovery bore at the Sunrise Dam mine’s tailings storage facility. In conjunction with Westwind Turbines, AngloGold Ashanti designed, built, tested and implemented an innovative power supply and regulation system that resulted in zero greenhouse gas emissions. The Golden Gecko Awards, now in their sixteenth year, are facilitated by the Western Australian Department of Industry and Resources to promote environmental excellence within the resources sector. The awards highlight the industry’s commitment to the environment and a sustainable future, as well as set new benchmarks for environmental practices.