Conservation & Rehabiliation
St Barbara has a continued focus on improving the environmental management and rehabilitation activities.
St Barbara aims to reduce the production of company greenhouse gas emissions by identifying opportunities to increase the energy efficiency of our processes.
During the 2015/2016 financial year, St Barbara constructed and commissioned an absorption chiller using waste heat generated by the adjoining power station to provide cooling for underground mine operations. The new cooling system converts the waste heat to cool air by using absorption refrigeration technology, the first time this has been used in the mining industry.
This resulted in a doubling of its cooling capacity while reducing power demand, reducing carbon emissions by over 5,000 tonnes per year. St Barbara was awarded a Certificate of Merit in the 2015 Golden Gecko Awards by the Department of Mines and Petroleum.
As part of St Barbara’s policy to continually improve upon the efficient use of resources in our mining operations, the Leonora Operations have endeavoured to reduce the reliance on potable water from the Leonora water reserve.
The development of a new wellfield has further reduced reliance on the Leonora town water supply.
In acknowledgment of the Leonora Operations effort to efficiently use and minimise use of valuable water resources, the Water Corporation has recognised St Barbara during their 2013/14 Waterwise Business Awards. St Barbara was proud to accept two awards from the Water Corporation:
- The Gold Award for improving water efficiency between 35% and 50%
- The Champion Award for significant and consistent improvement in water efficiency through to 2013/14
St Barbara’s Leonora Operations will strive to expand cooperative efforts in the future in order to improve efficiency across the operation including energy use and the re-use and recycling of materials.
Since 2008 St Barbara has continued to carry out rehabilitation on legacy mining structures. One of the more recent projects has seen all disturbance on St Barbara tenements digitised and mapped in our ArcGis database. This has also helped with our submission for the Mining Rehabilitation Fund.
To date, of the 152 tenements in Western Australia, reported in the 2016 Mining Rehabilitation Fund, approximately 480 hectares of land is classified under rehabilitation and approximately 350 hectares of land is classified under disturbance. This information is publically available on the Department of Mines and Petroleum website.
In the past three years, seed collection for rehabilitation has continued as part of establishing a seed bank. Seed is sourced from suppliers in the region to ensure revegetation is from the local surrounding province where possible.
St Barbara’s Mine Closure Plan for the Leonora Operations was accepted by the Department of Mines and Petroleum in 2014 and preparation for a Closure Plan is underway for the Pacific Operations.
All annual environmental reports are available on our website or publically on the Department of Mines and Petroleum website.