Authors: Grant, C


DOI https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/605_22

Cite As:
Grant, C 2006, 'Decommissioning Alcoa’s First Bauxite Mine in the Jarrah Forest of Western Australia ⎯ Cradle to Grave', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the First International Seminar on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 287-297, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/605_22

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Abstract:
Alcoa World Alumina Australia currently operates two bauxite mines at Willowdale and Huntly in the Darling Range of south-western Western Australia, 80-140 km south of Perth (Figure 1). Huntly is the largest bauxite mine in the world, producing over 20 million t of ore every year. The bauxite from the two mines is processed into alumina at three refineries at Kwinana, Pinjarra and Wagerup. The alumina is then shipped interstate and overseas for smelting to produce aluminium. Figure 1 Location of Alcoa’s mines, refineries and ports in Western Australia Alcoa’s bauxite mining operations commenced in 1963 at the Jarrahdale Mine. The mine commenced operations at the No. 1 site which is now a popular picnic spot called Langford Park. In 1970, the crushing plant was moved to the No. 2 site where it was located until the mine ceased production in late 1998. During this time, 168 million t of bauxite were mined. In May 2001, rehabilitation of the Jarrahdale Mine was completed finalising the closure of this site. This was the first mine that Alcoa had closed and fully rehabilitated in Western Australia. The company had set a challenging target for the site by wanting the Jarrahdale mine closure to attain benchmark rehabilitation for surface mining worldwide producing an ecologically sustainable area that meets agreed completion criteria. The specific objectives of the mine closure plan were: • Maintain a high focus on environmental and safety standards. • All rehabilitation achieves the completion criteria for its era. • Planning for the potential future use of the mine or infrastructure will involve the neighbouring community and other interested parties and be approved by Alcoa’s regulators. • The site is left in a condition which is safe, self sustaining and suitable for future land-uses. • The amount of waste disposed to landfill is minimised by recycling and reuse. Mine Closure 2006 ― Andy Fourie and Mark Tibbett (eds) © 2006 Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, ISBN 0-9756756-6-4 Mine Closure 2006, Perth, Australia 287 • The final rehabilitated site is considered a role model by the mining industry. • The site is liability free when relinquished to the State Government or utilised by another body. The objective of this paper is to provide a summary of the major steps that were involved in the closure of the Jarrahdale Mine. This included consultation with government and the community, removal of all infrastructure, removal of a dam and numerous stream crossings, removal of all contaminated materials, rehabilitation of all disturbed areas to agreed completion criteria, review and remediation (if necessary) of older rehabilitation areas and development of long-term management plans to allow relinquishment back to the State Government. Key activities relating to each of these steps are detailed below following background information on Alcoa’s bauxite mining operations.

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C. Grant
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