Australia is a land like no other and home to some of the most diverse ecosystems, and flora and fauna in the world.
There are around one million different species native to our country. More than 80 per cent of our country’s flora and fauna are unique to Australia, along with most of our freshwater fish and almost half of our birds.
There are various laws that protect our precious flora and fauna, and all mining projects need to meet very strict criteria to preserve and protect the biodiversity in the area.
As like with many other countries, human settlement and activity has meant the rapid decline in many native populations of plants and animals, and it has only been in the last 50 years that we’ve really understood just how important every single plant, animal and organism is to a healthy ecosystem. Lots of our mining companies want to do more than just protect; they want to increase native populations and are constantly undertaking research to look at how we can do this.
Sinosteel and Kings Park Board are working on a long-term project growing native species for replanting.
This helps us to pay extra attention to species that take longer to grow or need a bit more help getting established, as well as increase populations of plant species that are an important food source to animals in the area.
Roy Hill are working with the local Indigenous people across their sites to identify and categorize plant species across their sites that are important for both the people and the ecosystem.
We’re even using technology to understand certain species’ behaviour and movements. Consolidated Minerals have developed a software that identifies Quolls on their mine sites. Similar to facial recognition for humans, the software identifies which animals are quolls (and which aren’t) so they can better understand the populations in the areas with almost no human interaction.
It’s common for our industry to temporarily relocate certain species while operations are happening. After the mining project is complete, we restore the area with plant species and landscape features that encourage population growth and move them back in.
Atlas Iron developed and built artificial bat roosts at their Mt Webber iron ore operation, to support the vulnerable Pilbara Leaf-nosed Bat. The design reflects that of a foraging cave, with a subterranean tunnel designed to deter predators and a rear chamber that offers an ideal microhabitat for the bats to live temporarily while the mining operation takes place.