Fortescue acknowledges and values the unique biodiversity of the Pilbara region and is committed to safeguarding biodiversity through responsible environmental management.
We employ internal biodiversity experts and contract biodiversity consultants to survey and monitor our operations and surrounding environments.
The findings from these programs, as well as the outcomes of research investments, are integrated into environmental management plans and procedures to ensure that ongoing review and improvement is embedded in our management and decision making processes.
Our mine sites and associated rail and port operations implement management plans to ensure impacts to the environment are minimised, including Conservation Significant Fauna and Fauna Habitat Management Plans, and Conservation Significant Flora and Vegetation Management Plans.
We are also involved in various offsetting and research programs that aim to benefit significant species.
Fortescue takes a proactive approach to responsible water management and as a minimum comply with all relevant water licensing requirements set by Government and industry regulators.
We monitor groundwater and surface water conditions, local ecosystem and habitat health to ensure that its operations do not significantly impact on the quantity or quality of natural water systems and natural environments. Groundwater monitoring has consistently shown that we do not have a significant impact on natural water sources in the region.
Our mining operations are located adjacent to numerous sensitive and ‘water-related’ receptors including permanent, groundwater fed pools at the Solomon Hub and the Fortescue Marsh, a wetland of national significance adjacent to the Chichester Hub. We are subject to a number of environmental protection obligations, as well as voluntary monitoring programs to measure impacts on these ecosystems.
Learn more about how Fortescue is minimising the impacts to these ecosystems.
Fortescue implements the Papa Waringka Managed Aquifer Recharge Program at the Chichester Hub to ensure operations have access to an efficient and resilient groundwater supply, without damaging or depleting the natural aquifers and ecosystems that rely upon them.
Fortescue has gained considerable expertise in monitoring groundwater systems and is committed to working with government, industry and the community to share our learnings and work with others to gain a better understanding of the Pilbara hydrogeological systems.
Fortescue’s mine closure planning is focussed on returning the land to a state that will provide future use and value once mining is complete.
Mine closure is initially considered during the feasibility phase of project development, when objectives are discussed and agreed with stakeholders and strategies to minimise environmental impacts are developed.
Over the life of each operation, strategies are refined and details on how objectives will be met and measured are provided via mine closure plans. To ensure maximum effectiveness in rehabilitation activities, mine closure plans are regularly updated to include findings from targeted research and trials.
Sustainable Land Rehabilitation
To ensure responsible rehabilitation practices are implemented throughout each stage of the mining life cycle, Fortescue applies an integrated approach to land management.
Rehabilitation monitoring procedures are tailored to monitor the local environmental issues, using indices such as plant species diversity and composition, nutrient cycling, infiltration and erosion.
Fortescue acknowledges that the effective management of the storage of tailings requires rigorous design practices, comprehensive monitoring and management programs, independent auditing and a strict corporate governance regime.
To this extent, Fortescue utilises internal expertise together with external design consultants to ensure that the Company’s Tailings Storage Facilities (TSF) are designed to the highest standard to minimise the environmental and community impacts and to maximise operational efficiency.
Reducing waste generation through the prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse of waste produced during operations is a priority for Fortescue.
We continue to investigate options to minimise the volumes of general waste being sent to landfill from our suites.
All waste generated across our operations is managed in accordance with our Waste Management Plan and Hazardous Materials Management Procedure.
total waste volumes across all sites
Initiatives such as this long-term investment in the WA Parks Foundation will help better connect the community to the 31 million hectares of conservation estate here in WA.