What is Alkane’s approach to environmental management?
Alkane seeks to minimise our environmental footprint at all our mining and exploration sites – for the total lifetime of those sites. We work hard to protect the wide variety of native species that live in our mining areas, and we design and adapt our operations to best meet these needs.
Our aim is to leave our mining sites as stable functioning ecosystems despite the inevitable change in land form. Before any soil is turned, we create biodiversity offsets (for the restoration and planting of new native habitats for animal species) and carefully plan progressive rehabilitation, monitoring and management actions. Once the mining process is over, mine infrastructure is removed and the final landform is rehabilitated to be left in a long-term stable condition.
How does Alkane manage the impact of its operations?
Alkane seeks to minimise the impact of our activities at all times and is committed to keeping our staff and all members of the community safe and minimising our impact on the environment.
To achieve this, we ensure we meet or exceed the requirements of all laws in relation to safe environmental practices and occupational health and safety. These measures and actions are all documented within the Environment Management System (EMS) and supporting Management Plans (EMPs) and Mine Operation Plan (MOP) for each project we undertake.
What is Alkane’s approach to and record in environmental rehabilitation?
Peak Hill Gold Mine (1996 to 2005)
Alkane has left the mining leases at Peak Hill in a safer and improved environmental condition than pre-1996. While the landform has changed significantly due to the five open cut voids from mining, the site is now safely fenced and managed for tourism (Open Cut Experience) and biodiversity values. There has been an increase in biodiversity across the mining lease, which has been driven by stable final landforms, rehabilitation plantings, weed control and pest animal control. (For more information visit Rehabilitation of Peak Hill Gold Mine).
Tomingley Gold Operations (2014 to current)
Progressive rehabilitation has commenced at Alkane’s Tomingley Gold Operations (TGO) and will continue for the life of the mine (until about 2022).The primary aim of initial works is to stabilise the outside walls of the ‘waste rock emplacements’ (repositories of waste rock extracted from the pits) and sowing pasture vegetation consistent with the Tomingley area.
Full details of all rehabilitation commitments can be found in the TGO Mine Operations Plan (MOP), available on the Alkane website (https://www.alkane.com.au/operations/tomingley-gold-operations/tgo-environment/management-plans/).
If the company went bankrupt, what would happen to site rehabilitation?
Who’s responsible for rehabilitation after mining ceases?
What is Alkane’s approach to biodiversity offsets?
What biodiversity offsets has Alkane already put in place?
Tomingley Gold Operations: TGO has 127Ha of biodiversity offset in in place, with these areas secured under a Property Vegetation Management Plan (PVP).Amelioration planting has been carried out to improve biodiversity across these areas where the previous use was cropping and grazing.
Peak Hill: In addition to general site rehabilitation post-mining, Alkane established ??Ha of biodiversity offset areas at the start of operations.
In the event of a drought, will the mine get water at the expense of the town?
Town water supplies are allocated water preferentially over other users, even to holders of high-security water licences. Whilst high-security water licences generally have a full allocation, in the event of extended drought or other extraordinary circumstances, the allocation available to high-security water licence holders may be reduced while supplies are maintained to town water supplies.Allocations to general security water licences will vary depending on the water available in Burrendong Dam. Water accounts are reset on 1 July each year.
What checks are in place to account for the effect of climate change/rainfall on recharge of rivers and aquifers?
Water is a finite resource. There is no ‘new’ water available to mining companies. Mining has to compete with other industries and water uses for access to water on the open market. Water has been made by government into a tradable asset.Water sharing plans administered by NSW Office of Water are monitored to ensure that water extraction levels do not tip towards unsustainability. If aquifers and rivers do not get recharged there is presently an ability to reduce all allocations to ensure aquifers are not damaged by over-extraction.
Tomingley Gold Operations
How is the impact of the Tomingley Gold mine managed?
Will you put the mine wastes back in the open cut pit eventually?
How does Alkane source water for project sites –Tomingley Gold Operations?
Water usage in NSW is governed by the distribution of water licences, which are a tradable asset and purchased from willing sellers. Water can also be purchased on the temporary water market.
Tomingley Gold Operations has purchased a water licence from local irrigator and is permitted to use 1000ML of bore water per year from the Mid-Macquarie River alluvial aquifer. Much of the water onsite is recycled and reused. Pumping tests carried out at the time of the Narromine bore being developed indicated that the use of this water will have minimal impact on surrounding properties.
A comprehensive assessment is detailed in the Environment Impact Statement (EIS) sections 2.10 (Air Emissions Management), 4.3 (Assessment And Management Of Key Environmental Issues – Air Quality) and 4.4 (Assessment And Management Of Key Environmental Issues – Radiation).
- the EIS Explained – Emissions including dust
- Alkane’s “Uranium and radiation at the DZP FACTS“
- Responses to the Public Submissions to the DZP Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
How does Alkane support the local community?
What measures are/will be in place to control dust?
Tomingley Gold Operations: TGO is aware of being a contributor of additional dust in the air as the result of mining operations, particularly in the hotter, drier and windier months. To address this, TGO has developed a detailed site-specific procedure to manage dust in accordance with the conditions of operation. TGO has also commenced rehabilitation of disturbed areas where practical to reduce the footprint that can potentially generate dust.
Dubbo Project: The Environment Impact Statement (EIS) considers the predicted impact of dust produced by drilling and blasting on air quality.Water trucks, with dust suppressant, if needed, are planned to be used. Alkane also plans to rehabilitate disturbed areas as soon as practical to reduce the footprint that can potentially generate dust.
What measures are/will be in place to control noise?
Tomingley Gold Operations: Noise emissions from the site are controlled through a combination of measures – including planning to control locations and times of noisy activity, and the construction of noise bunds to attenuate noise.
What controls will the company implement to prevent dirty water runoff entering natural water courses?