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10 September 2019

In order to face environmental challenges, the mining industry must prioritise biodiversity conservation and work closely with communities that are dependent on local resources to tackle challenges together.

Our planet serves a variety of life forms, and biodiversity is important because it supports the production of our ecosystem and every living species around it. Here are some ways the mining industry can strive to maintain biodiversity.

1. Preserve natural habitats by using sustainable mining technologies

Modern mines must operate effectively and efficiently to serve consumer demand while preserving the world around them. For mining areas especially, it’s important to be mindful of the environment to maintain as much value as possible to reduce the impact we have.

2. Understand the role of mining technologies in biodiversity conservation

Understanding the role of technology is important to successful mining exploration and efficient mining processes. With developments like robotic drills and self-driving ore carriers, technology is helping to protect biodiversity in the areas we mine. Learn how specific operations can help natural environments maintain their genetic diversity.

Commonly used technologies include:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) learns from human behaviour, which makes it possible to track, model, and control systems at scale. AI is able to process a variety of real-time risks when it comes to species and animals so that miners can preserve biological resources near operational sites.
  • We use remote imaging sensors (RS) or satellite cameras to monitor change in specific mine sites. Observes the landscape and gathers data on plants and animals in the area in order to monitor any changes happening at the mine site in real time.
  • Phytomining extracts minerals from plant roots to remove certain metals, such as copper, from a low-grade ore. This mining technique helps unfertile soils generate the nutrients they need to grow additional types of flora, which improves biodiversity.
  • The raw data from predictive analytics software uncovers potentially dangerous patterns in soil changes and helps control explosives during operations to ensure that habitats are maintained.

3. Protect natural resources near mine sites with action plans

We partnered with Fauna & Flora International (FFI) in 2008 and, with their help, we’ve incorporated ways to preserve biodiversity and reduce ecosystem threats across our operations. 30 of our operations now incorporate biodiversity action plans (BAPs), which are examined and endorsed by mine leadership teams. Through our Sustainable Mining Plan, our vision is to deliver net positive impact [NPI] by investing in biodiversity stewardship.

Biodiversity action plans allow mine operations to:

  • Appreciate and value the environmental importance of the land to be mined
  • Develop management programmes to help reduce mine activities that may have an effect on the biological diversity around the mine site

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