Bilbies, bandicoots and woylies are among the fauna being protected by companies vying for the Department of Mines and Petroleum's coveted Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence.
Announcing the 10 finalists for this year's awards, Mines and Petroleum Minister Sean L'Estrange said five of the companies represented had submitted projects aimed at conserving species native to Western Australia.
"This year's entries come from a wide range of resource companies from across the State, ranging from the South-West to the Goldfields, Mid-West and Pilbara," Mr L'Estrange said.
"All of the finalists are committed to environmental sustainability and are a credit to the minerals and energy sector, using innovative thinking and new technologies to safeguard our environment."
The Minister will be presenting the 25th annual Golden Gecko Awards and the inaugural Community Partnership Awards at the Pan Pacific Hotel on Thursday, October 27.
The Community Partnership Awards acknowledge the support, effort and benefits provided by mining and petroleum resource companies to their local communities.
The 10 Golden Gecko finalists will showcase their projects during a seminar before the formal awards ceremony. This will provide guests with a greater understanding of the efforts being made to support the environment.
Minister's office - 6552 6900
2016 Golden Gecko Awards Finalists
Iluka Resources Limited
Project Name: Native Vegetation Linkage
The project involves rehabilitation of a historic mined area in the Whicher Scarp to create a sustainable ecological linkage between two areas of significant remnant native vegetation. Iluka developed and implemented innovative rehabilitation techniques which set a new standard for the industry.
Buru Energy Limited and Murdoch University
Project Name: Disturbance Ecology of the Greater Bilby in the Canning Basin
The project tackles the lack of information regarding bilby ecology in the Canning Basin to better understand the impact of petroleum activities and other disturbances on bilbies. The project uses a range of methods and involves participation and data sharing by traditional owners. The results will be made publicly available to benefit other operators, stakeholders and researchers.
APA Group and Kingfisher Environmental Consulting
Project Name: APA Eastern Goldfields
The 293 kilometre Eastern Goldfields Pipeline is a high-pressure gas transmission pipeline which transports natural gas from Karratha to the AngloGold Ashanti's Sunrise Dam and Tropicana Gold Mines and Goldfields Australia's Granny Smith mine site. The pipeline extends from the current Murrin Murrin/Yarraloola terminus to the mines, traversing a large section of previously undisturbed Great Victoria Desert including potential habitats for the endangered small carnivorous Australian marsupial, the sandhill dunnart. The APA Eastern Goldfields Pipeline Sandhill Dunnart Monitoring Program was developed with zoologists from Kingfisher Environmental Consulting who also lead the field works. Methodologies introduced new processes, facilitated by improvements in remote sensor cameras and radio-tracking transmitters, which have led to the accumulation of new species habitat and predation data.
Newmont Boddington Gold
Project Name: Large Scale Fauna Relocation Program
In recognition of the importance of fauna in the jarrah forest near its Boddington mine, Newmont conducted a two-month fauna translocation program that included a number of species identified as significant for conservation including the chuditch, woylie, brush-tailed wambenger, southern brown bandicoot, Dell's skink and carpet python.
Project Name: Downer Mining Environmental Education and Training Program
Downer Mining has been working through education and training to minimise environmental risk. The company's Environmental Education and Training Program was a top priority during 2016 and focused on targeted training, including the incorporation of environmental sustainability into the compulsory supervisor core training module. Environment and sustainability awareness training is now a requirement for all employees with direct environmental responsibilities.
Spiecapag Lucas and CNC Project Management
Project Name: Eastern Goldfields Pipeline: Front Foot Package
The project developed and implemented a pro-active and innovative package of measures aimed at being 'on the front foot' to mitigate impacts on fauna during the construction of a 293km gas transmission pipeline. The project's focus was on bottom-up delivery, adoption of new technology and strong leadership. Awareness of the importance of fauna management was raised through innovative approaches, including the use of an ArcGIS Collector geographical information system to improve the efficiency of data gathering, and a trial of Go-Pro technology to assist in efficiency of trench checking, reduce fauna mortality and lower overall environmental management cost.
Karara Mining Limited
Project Name: Micro-Mist Dust Suppression System for Primary Crusher
Karara needed to solve the problem of excessive dust emissions at the mine's primary crusher Run of Mine (ROM) bin. Working collaboratively with Enviromist Pty Ltd and Bulk Materials Engineering Australia, the company implemented an innovative micro-mist dust suppression system which eliminated excessive dust and reduced water consumption at the ROM bin by 60 per cent.
Roy Hill Infrastructure Pty Ltd
Project Name: Going above and beyond to minimise impact to mangroves in Port Hedland
During development of its port project, Roy Hill Infrastructure Pty Ltd (RHI) focused on reducing the environmental impact on mangroves. RHI has completed construction of the port project with significantly fewer total impacts to mangroves than allowed under approvals. RHI have also gone beyond regulatory compliance in its ongoing monitoring program.
Vimy Resources Limited
Project Name: Innovative Camera Trapping of the Sandhill Dunnart in the Great Victoria Desert
Vimy Resources Limited's Mulga Rock Project is located in the south-western portion of the Great Victoria Desert, which is home to a number of fauna species with conservation significance, including the elusive nocturnal ultra-small sandhill dunnart. Vimy has developed an innovative, standardised and peer-reviewed Camera Trapping Protocol to identify the sandhill dunnart. Because the protocol has a number of advantages over traditional fauna sampling techniques, it has a wider application for the scientific community.
Strike Drilling Pty Ltd
Project Name: Strike Drilling X350 Track Mounted Drill Rig and Support Unit
After consultation with exploration clients, Strike Drilling designed a drill rig and support unit able to significantly reduce the machine's environmental footprint, while being mobile enough to operate in previously inaccessible areas.