Respecting the environment

We are committed to caring for the environment. We think differently to find solutions to actively manage and neutralise our impact; because we care about the environment and our planet.

We have a  consistent approach to environmental management across all our operations, and we think innovatively to minimise our environmental impact.

Key aspects of our environmental management program include:

  • ongoing, progressive rehabilitation of previously mined areas
  • focus on water and energy efficiencies and sustainability
  • proactive reporting and managing of environmental hazards and incidents
  • environmental training and awareness
  • ensuring compliance with statutory guidelines
  • community and stakeholder consultation.

Conservation: carbon neutral by 2050

We have set business-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. We commit to being carbon neutral by 2050, and will improve our production emission efficiency (gold ounces/CO2 t) by 18.6% (on 2013 levels) by 2030. (As we engage with the United Nations’ Science Based Targets Initiative, these targets may vary according to their guidance.)

Initiatives to support us in reaching this target are well underway. Our Atlantic Gold Operations is leading this effort, with planning underway for carbon neutrality via wind turbines and scalable salt-water batteries.

In 2020, our Leonora Operations completed construction of underground Paste Aggregate Fill (PAF) infrastructure to allow permanent underground storage of up to 100% of waste rock. This involves underground crushing and mixing with paste-fill, which is piped down from the surface, then pumped to fill mining voids. This PAF and related infrastructure will reduce Gwalia mine’s greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 3% (reducing truck diesel usage by ~18%, and saving 3,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum) because less waste rock will need to be transported to the surface, greatly reducing the use of trucks in the process.

Our village accommodation at Leonora Operations won a State Government Golden Gecko award for energy savings via the installation of solar panels in 2020 and was also recognised as a Gold Waterwise Business by the West Australian Water Corporation. This is the second time our Leonora Operations has received this well-deserved recognition.

Committed to rehabilitation

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 are classified under rehabilitation and approximately 350 hectares under disturbance. This information is publicly available on the Department of Mines and Petroleum website.

A Strategic Environmental Improvement Plan has been developed to address key challenges and opportunities facing the Company, as well as action plans to manage these issues.

Each year St Barbara submits its Annual Environmental Report to the Department of Mines and Petroleum and to the Department of Environment Regulation. The reports detail comprehensively our environmental activities at our Leonora Operations. Since the 2013/14 report, environmental reports are lodged online with both the Department of Environment Regulation and the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

These reports are available for public view here.

Leonora Operations Annual Environment Reports