Environmental responsibility is critical to the relationships we build with communities and other stakeholders. We respect the environment as an integral part of the cultural and spiritual value systems of our host communities.
In Western Australia during 2012 our environmental performance included the below highlights:
- Substantial progress made on the Coastal Water Supply project, which will transfer water from the inland Bungaroo bore field to Water Corporation's West Pilbara Water Supply Scheme at Millstream.
- We commenced an agricultural project to use surplus water from our Nammuldi below water table and Silvergrass East operations to produce hay, which will be sold and to run cattle as a 'stand and graze' arrangement to supplement existing pastoral operations.
- Drilling and installation of groundwater monitoring bores commenced on the Fortescue Marsh in the east Pilbara to improve our understanding of hydrogeological support mechanisms of this environmentally significant feature.
- Approval was received for the construction of a new power station at Cape Lambert, incorporating combined cycle technology. The power station, when commissioned, will result in a step change improvement of the electricity generation efficiency across our Pilbara network.
- Energy efficiency opportunities progressed, with a focus on central fixed plant opportunities, and implementation of 42 further opportunities, saving a total of 808 terajoules of energy.
- Our energy efficiency strategy for our expansion projects was rolled out with:
• energy efficiency considerations applied to pre-feasibility studies for planned operations, and incorporated into internal engineering design standards, providing clear guidance on what considerations are expected and a framework for future designs; and
o energy efficiency assessments completed at Yandicoogina, Nammuldi below water table, Silvergrass East, Western Turner Syncline phase 2, Brockman 4 phase 3 dry plant, recorded 35 opportunities.
• Our Dampier port operations successfully trialled a chemical dust suppressant product for application on open areas. The suppressant has been effective in areas which are not subject to vehicle movements and will become part of standard operating procedures.
• Installation of an on-site dust monitoring network during the construction of Cape Lambert Port B to track dust levels and manage our activities to prevent off site impacts. The new infrastructure has also incorporated dust minimisation features as part of its design.
Learn more about environment in our latest sustainable development report.
Learn more about air quality.
Doing it differently at Simandou
- The team guiding the Simandou project in Guinea, west Africa, is using Rio Tinto's development knowledge to drive innovations in its social and environmental base line studies.