Curragh is committed to managing its environmental performance to ensure that we are at the forefront of environmental management in the mining industry. This includes an operational focus on managing natural resources such as water and significant vegetation communities and the progressive rehabilitation of disturbed areas so that nature’s resources are preserved for future generations. Environmental management policies and practices comply with all environmental legislation and regulations that govern the operation.
Curragh Mine is a signatory to the Commonwealth Greenhouse Challenge programme and participates in the Energy Efficiency Opportunities program. Curragh also submits an annual National Pollutant Inventory Report.
Curragh’s Environmental Management Plan (EM Plan) provided a comprehensive scientific evaluation of environmental conditions present prior to mining. The EM Plan also outlines control, management and research strategies to ensure that these environmental conditions are considered during the operational and closure phases of the mine.
Rehabilitation of disturbed areas is taken very seriously at Curragh. After mining, spoil is reshaped into an appropriate landform. Topsoil, removed prior to mining is replaced and the area is seeded with native trees and a mixture of native and improved pasture grasses. Curragh aims to produce a stable and sustainable final landform which incorporates the promotion of local flora and fauna communities back into the rehabilitated landscape. Rehabilitation is undertaken on a progressive basis in order to minimise the amount of disturbed land present at any given time.
Water at Curragh is regarded as a valuable natural asset. A series of reticulated dams are used to store pit and runoff water around site. This reduces reliance on raw water purchased from external sources. As time and technology progress, Curragh seeks innovative ways of further maximising water use and minimising the potential for environmental harm.
Curragh aims to minimise impact of operations on surrounding landholders and communities, these impacts can include noise, dust and visual amenity. Curragh implemented a trial program using an additive in water to improve dust suppression and is currently expanding the trial to cover the whole site.
A commitment to waste minimisation and a management programme aimed at reducing, reusing and recycling items ranging from oil filters to scrap metals has resulted in sizable reductions in the amount of non-recycled waste.
Respecting and preserving cultural heritage is important to Curragh. The mine holds regular co-ordination meetings with representatives of the local traditional owners and continues to undertake cultural heritage assessment and mitigation at both Curragh and Curragh North operations prior to mining.
At Curragh, environmental management is integrated into all activities and processes and environmental factors are monitored for impact levels on the environment. Through assessment and review, Curragh is continuously striving for improvement in environmental achievement and compliance.