Biodiversity is an integral consideration in all planning, operational and rehabilitation activities at Iluka.
Areas disturbed through mining are progressively restored to a land use that is agreed with government agencies and landholders. In most cases, areas of native vegetation are restored to an equivalent ecosystem, with monitoring of the flora and fauna using accepted practices by both internal and external professionals.
The protection and enhancement of biodiversity is formalised in a range of management documents to ensure its protection and where possible, enhancement. During the mine planning a number of activities are undertaken that feed into the documents including pre-mine flora and fauna surveys; vegetation mapping; assessment of groundwater extraction impacts on groundwater dependent ecosystems; and mitigation plans to address any residual impacts on biodiversity.
In the operational phase of mining, management plans are developed to address specific biodiversity aspects such as: fauna; native vegetation; pest/weed species; plant disease; and soil management.
Mine closure plans determine landscape restoration targets, and rehabilitation management plans identify issues, such as soil profile reconstruction and definition of local provenance for seed collection, to maintain genetic function and distinctiveness of re-established populations.
Monitoring methods, validated and approved by regulatory authorities, are undertaken by external professionals, to measure the performance of the rehabilitated landscape and to ensure continuous improvement.
Development of “leading practice” in protecting and enhancing biodiversity is addressed through scientific research, its implementation and biodiversity initiatives. Where insufficient knowledge is available to inform this practice, Iluka supports fundamental scientific enquiry through partnerships with research institutions. Such enquiry can have practical importance to Iluka’s rehabilitation and environmental management activities, for example, to inform the optimal choice of plant species in rehabilitation after mining to achieve functional and resilient ecosystems that allow biodiversity to increase naturally.
Iluka Resources South West Digital Herbarium
Iluka rehabilitation professionals have developed a South West Digital Herbarium to assist with identification of juvenile native plants at the Yoganup ecological corridor, located at the rehabilitated Yoganup mine approximately 10 kilometres from the town of Capel in the south west of Western Australia. These sheets contain information on botanical descriptions, flowering, seed collection timing, locations, average germination numbers per gram, best treatments and storage to guide rehabilitation activities, with photographic images for each species also included.
This resource has considerably enhanced Iluka’s rehabilitation of the Yoganup site and future work at the Tutunup South mine 20 kilometres to the south. This approach has also guided general environmental management and planning practices undertaken throughout the company.
In the interests of collaboration and knowledge sharing, Iluka is pleased to make this information available publically. To view online or download a copy of the Herbarium (25MB), click here