Environmental Performance of Large Open Pits in Western Australia - A Perspective
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1994
The mining industry in Western Australia is a large sector of the WA economy providing $12 billion (1993) of the export income for the State. Historically, mining in WA developed from traditional prospecting in the late-1880s leading to major underground operations by the turn of the century. Large open pits were developed in WA following World War II and became increasingly common since the gold boom of the 1980s. With the development of the open pits has been concomitant evolution of mining legislation, principally the Mining Acts of 1904 and 1978, which has been also accompanied by a practical evolution of the administrative system within the Department of Minerals and Energy. The mining industry has recognised the need for sound environmental management at mine sites, taking up the challenge and becoming a world leader in rehabilitation techniques. Any environmental management program in the industry has three stages: approval by government; management by the industry; and return to the State in an environmentally acceptable condition. The WA environmental requirements, procedures and industry performance in these three stages are discussed.