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International Perspectives On Biodiversity & Mining Rehabilitation In Arid Areas
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International Perspectives On Biodiversity & Mining Rehabilitation In Arid Areas

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  • Good morning and thank you for the opportunity to speak to you. As many of you will know I used to work for De Beers Namaqualand Mines, before moving to Sadiola Gold Mine in Mali, and then AngloGold Ashanti’s corporate office in Johannesburg. I now have the opportunity of visiting operations right around the world, and it is these insights which I want to share with you today.  

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  • 1. International Perspectives on Biodiversity & Rehabilitation in Arid Areas De Beers Environmental Conference Kimberley, 25 August 2004 Andrew Mackenzie Manager: Corporate Environmental Affairs
  • 2. Outline of the presentation
    • Biodiversity
      • ICMM IUCN Dialogue
    • NGO Perspectives
      • No Dirty Gold Campaign
    • De Beers “Achilles' Heel”?
      • Succulent karoo
    • Where in the world are we?
      • Other arid areas
    • International rehabilitation technology
      • Argentina, US & Australia
      • Brazil, Ghana & Western Australia
    • Biodiversity opportunities
    • Conclusions
  • 3. Biodiversity - an International Focus
    • Controversies about mining in sensitive areas - Amman Resolution 2000
    • World Summit – IUCN/ICMM Dialogue
      • recognise the positive contribution of mining
      • establish clear & equitable rules for land access
      • reduce conflict over areas at project level - costly and unproductive
      • Establish Good Practice Guidelines to integrate biodiversity concerns into all phases of mine planning, operation and closure
    • IUCN Guidelines on Mining in Arid Zones
    • Still controversial!
    • SA Dialogue
  • 4. NGO Perspectives “ No Dirty Gold” Campaign
  • 5. “ No Dirty Gold” Campaign
  • 6. “ No Dirty Gold” Campaign
  • 7. “ No Dirty Gold” Campaign
  • 8. NGO Strategies
    • Traditional tactics:
      • Powerful media campaigns
      • Lobbying on legislative and regulatory matters
      • Challenges of license conditions & license compliance
    • Identify high visibility target (an operation at risk)
      • They review permits, laws, and financial records
      • Then approach: Banks, Stock / Securities exchanges, Insurance companies, Industry analysts and Investors
    • They then urge:
      • Banks not to lend
      • Securities exchanges to inquire and require disclosure
      • Insurance companies not to insure
      • Industry analysts to recommend sale of shares
      • Investors to sell
    • In addition to the lending, stock sale and insurance “pitches” they will allege non-disclosure of information and urge fraud and other lawful claims be brought against the company
  • 9. De Beers “Achilles' Heel”? Mining Area 1, Namdeb, Namibia Mining Area 1, Namibia
  • 10. De Beers Namaqualand Mines, Buffels Marine Complex (BMC) Buffels Marine Complex (BMC), Namaqualand
  • 11. Why is the West Coast an “Achilles' Heel”?
    • Only arid ecosystem recognised as a global biodiversity hotspot
    • 6356 plants species, 40% endemic
    • 116 000 km 2
    • less than 3% protected
    • 30 Red data species & many more endemic
    Succulent Karoo
  • 12. Managing the Liabilities
    • Where are there other arid areas in the world?
    • With established mining industry?
    • What are they doing i.t.o. rehabilitation?
  • 13. Landscapes similar to those of SA Patagonia, Argentina
  • 14. Where in the world are we? Nevada, USA
  • 15. Landscapes similar to those of SA Margaret River, Western Australia
  • 16. Where in the world are we? Pilbara, Western Australia
  • 17. Similarities between the mining environment in Patagonia and Namaqualand Patagonia, Argentina No, it’s not the BMC (Namaqualand), but Cerro Vanguardia (Argentina)
  • 18. Rehabilitation Challenges 10cm topsoil Guanaco Hard, rocky overburden Dumps ± 5 years old No vegetation 26 visually intrusive open pits & waste dumps Patagonia, Argentina
  • 19. International Rehabilitation Technology Profiled overburden dumps with topsoil Placer Dome’s Cortex Pipeline Mine Nevada, USA
  • 20. International Rehabilitation Technology Establish natural topographical contours Contoured Rock-drains Nevada, USA Goldstrike Mine
  • 21. Ripping on the contour Winged Ripper Moon-scaping dumps for enhanced water retention International Rehabilitation Technology Pilbara, Western Australia Northern Territory
  • 22. International Rehabilitation Technology Ripping on the contours Profiled dumps with terraces & rock drains Sunrise Dam, Western Australia
  • 23. International Rehabilitation Technology Profiled dumps with terraces & rock drains Sunrise Dam, Western Australia
  • 24. International Rehabilitation Technology Simulated rainfall infiltration & erosion monitoring Pilbara, Western Australia Northern Territory
  • 25. International Rehabilitation Technology Landform Evolution Modeling (Siberia model) Simulates run-off and erosion from a landform 3-dimensional topographic evolution model predicts long-term evolution of channels and hillslopes in a catchment Pilbara, Western Australia Northern Territory
  • 26. Newcastle, NSW International Rehabilitation Technology Fauna habitat Re-establish natural contours Hand-planting & wind protection Silica gel for moisture supply
  • 27. Public Expectations?
    • In rehabilitation terms, what can be done?
  • 28. Innovative revegetation of steep pit walls Highwall Rehabilitation, Brazil Morro Velho, Brazil
  • 29. Innovative revegetation of steep pit walls Highwall Rehabilitation, Brazil Morro Velho, Brazil
  • 30. Ashanti, Ghana Waste Dump Rehabilitation, Ghana Waste rock covered with topsoil & replanted
  • 31. Ashanti, Ghana Waste Dump Rehabilitation, Ghana 5 year old
  • 32. Ashanti, Ghana Waste Dump Rehabilitation, Ghana 3 year old
  • 33. Investing in Rehabilitation Nurseries in Brazil & Ghana
  • 34. Nursery in Western Australia Tissue culture lab Experimental nursery Alcoa, Huntley Mine Western Australia
  • 35. Investing in Rehabilitation Technology Bauxite Grazing protection Planting of recalcitrant species Alcoa, Huntley Mine Western Australia
  • 36. Investing in Rehabilitation Technology 20 year old forest Alcoa, Huntley Mine Western Australia
  • 37. Arid land rehabilitation
    • Have we adequately investigated Australian Mining Environmental Research?
    • Are there opportunities to improve research partnerships with Cape-based universities and other research organisations?
  • 38. Where in the world are we? The Eden Project, UK
    • Futuristic world emphasising “sustainability”
    • “ Global Centre for Post-Mining Regeneration” - showcase of global mining rehabilitation practice
    • The ability for the mining industry to influence the perceptions of millions of visitors
  • 39. Conclusions
    • Opportunities for De Beers Group:
    • Protect its reputation & the desirability of diamonds through rehabilitation of large areas of disturbed lands on the West Coast
    • Lead the way in developing improved methods of rehabilitation
    • Establish improved research partnerships with Cape-based universities & other research organizations
    • Increase its contribution to the understanding of biodiversity in Southern Africa, incl. rare & unique species thought to be threatened by mining
    • Enhance its reputation among conservation & environmental organisations