Biodiversity and battery minerals happening side by side

Our mining companies are committed to sustainable development and regard the environmental management and rehabilitation of mining sites as among the highest priorities. Many are using innovation and creativity to find solutions that are More Resourceful than ever.

One such company is Talison Lithium who have converted an old tin mining void to a wetland haven for birds (all the while operating a high-grade lithium mine right next door).

Talison Lithium’s mining and processing operation is located directly south and adjacent to the town of Greenbushes in Western Australia. It is approximately 250 kilometres south of Perth in the south-west of Western Australia.

Talison Lithium and its predecessor companies have been producing lithium from the Greenbushes lithium operations since 1983 and Greenbushes is recognised as the longest continuously operated mining area in Western Australia.

It started as a Tin mine in 1888 and mining of tantalum commenced in the 1940s. Initial development of the ore body at Greenbushes started in 1983 with the first lithium processing plant commissioned in 1985. Since that time the lithium processing facilities have been expanded several times to produce a range of lithium concentrates.

Talison Lithium partnered with local Blackwood Basin Group and other community groups to create a wetland haven for wading birds at Schwenke’s Dam, an historic mining void created during dredging for tin and tantalum production in the 1950s and 1960s.

The rehabilitation involved a redesign of the mining void to incorporate interconnected beaches, mudflats and habitat areas which were then planted with appropriate endemic species of rushes, sedges and melaleucas to create a suitable habitat for a range of over 40 bird species.

Recreation facilities were also added which included a boardwalk, seating and a walking trail connecting the area to the Greenbushes Pool and townsite.

The outcome is a beautiful wetland in amongst the Jarrah-Marri Forest in Western Australia’s South West and directly over the road from a fully operating lithium mine producing the minerals we need for our clean energy future.

Our future on the planet is going to require resources for new technology to reduce our impact, and hard work to restore the natural world.