Health and Safety Management

At Karara, we prioritise the safety, health and well-being of those involved in our business above all else. To protect and enhance the health and safety of others we:

  • Prioritise safety over production;
  • Never compromise on our health and safety standards;
  • Incorporate health and safety in the planning for any work task we do;
  • Apply our systems to identify, assess, control and manage any risks;
  • Ensure at all times that our work meets relevant standards, codes of practice and regulatory requirements;
  • Positively engage and empower all our employees and contractors;
  • Set safety objectives and measure achievement towards them to continuously improve outcomes and eliminate work-related injury and illness;
  • Collaborate and communicate with everyone in Karara about our health and safety goals and how we can achieve and improve them; and,
  • Maintain an effective health and safety management system, based on industry best standards.

We value the health and safety of all of our employees, contracting partners, site visitors and the wider community in which we operate. We are committed to a risk-based approach and a ‘zero harm’ philosophy relating to safety performance in all areas of the business.

Protecting the Karara Environment

Karara places a premium value on the environmental values of the Mid West region where we operate. To protect and enhance the environment and to eliminate or reduce any potential adverse impacts we apply our Environmental policy which requires us to:

  • Assess and prioritise environmental matters associated with our activities
  • Commit to protect the environment, through:
  • The prevention of pollution from our operations
  • Incorporating environmental considerations into our work task planning
  • Progressively rehabilitating areas impacted by our operations and activities
  • Implementing programs to proactively manage regional biodiversity
  • Never compromise on our environmental standards and obligations
  • Communicate openly with all our stakeholders on environmental matters
  • Partner with agencies to support research to understand the local environment
  • Set environmental objectives and targets and measure progress towards them to drive continuous improvement
  • Apply, maintain and continually improve an effective environmental management system to maintain compliance with our obligations and enhance environmental performance
  • Meet the legal requirements and regulatory obligations that apply for our business activities and apply responsible standards where laws do not exist.

Environmental Benefits of Magnetite

Steel production from a premium magnetite concentrate product, as opposed to hematite iron ore, provides a range of significant global environmental benefits. Karara’s magnetite concentrate is a premium quality steel-making ingredient that is high grade (66-68%) and is very low in impurities.

The reduction of magnetite concentrate to produce steel uses less energy, produces less waste and fewer carbon emissions and costs less than steel production from the smelting of hematite iron ore.

Thermodynamic studies of the full steel production cycle – from ore extraction in the ground, to the production of finished steel – show that steel making from magnetite concentrate delivers a reduction in CO2 emissions of >100 kilograms per tonne compared to steel making with hematite fines iron ore material.

Karara: A Premium Product - High iron content, low impurities
Karara - Magnetite Concentrate Pilbara Blend Hematite Ore
Fe% (Iron) 66% 62%
SiO2% (Silica) <6.5% 3.6%
Al2O3% (Alumina) <0.2% 2.2%
P% (Phosphorus) <0.02% 0.1%

Environmental Programs

Progressive Rehabilitation of Disturbed Areas

Karara actively undertakes rehabilitation when areas are no longer required to be left open and accessible. This not only allows us to commence the important work of returning disturbed areas to stable and productive habitats as soon as possible but also allows us to conduct monitoring and research on the effectiveness of our rehabilitation methods and make adjustments to maximise the success of our programs.

Karara can be proud of the success of much of our rehabilitation work, however, it does not come by chance. Careful mine site planning informed by knowledge on the nature of waste materials, care and attention to the protection of top soil and cleared vegetation, skilled machinery operators and the timely collection and treatment of viable locally sourced seed stocks are all essential.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terapod waste rock dump February 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terapod waste rock dump February 2020

Rehabilitation and Restoration of Threatened Species

The Mid West is home to the endangered shrub species Acacia woodmaniorum. Karara has collaborated closely with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to ensure the ongoing recovery of this endangered species. Karara and DBCA have also developed a Translocation Plan to enable the species to be effectively used for the rehabilitation of land disturbed or affected by mining or exploration activities. Karara’s site Environmental Team has collected more than 3,000 cuttings and 150 specimens of the species to further the success of major translocation and plant propagation/generation programs. Specimens of Acacia woodmaniorum are maintained in our nursery to maintain a ready supply of seed for ongoing rehabilitation efforts.

 

Acacia woodmaniorum

Acacia woodmaniorum seed nursery.

 

Pre-clearing Controls to Protect Threatened Fauna Species

The lands around Karara’s Mid West tenements support two significant and threatened fauna species – the iconic ground nesting megapode of Australia’s mallee country – the Malleefowl and the diminutive but charming Western Spiny-tailed Skink.

The Malleefowl are renowned for their construction and (during the breeding season) their fastidious maintenance of large ground nests 3-5 m wide and over 1 m high. Nests are composed of soil and vegetation and act as compost piles generating heat to incubate the eggs. The species is sadly threatened by foxes, bushfires, land clearing and habitat fragmentation throughout their range.

The Western Spiny-tailed skink most resembles a bob-tail or blue tongue lizard which are well known to most Australians. The Western Spiny-tailed skink is smaller, and as its name suggests, it has a spiny tail. They live in small social groups around fallen trees and branches which provide hollows and refuges. Like the Malleefowl they are relatively common within the Karara Mid West tenements.

To minimise impacts on these threatened species Karara’s environment team conducts pre-clearing inspections to relocate Western Spiny-tailed Skinks and; if disturbance cannot be postponed, will relocate and/or incubate eggs from active Malleefowl nests.

WSTS in a log hollow

Juvenile WSTS

 

WSTS habitat log

 

Malleefowl

Active Malleefowl mound

 

Malleefowl & Western Spiny-tailed Skink Monitoring and Research

Since Karara’s development, the company has had a special interest in and taken active steps to improve the available knowledge and understanding of the Malleefowl. This has included the use of motion sensor cameras to monitor active Malleefowl mounds and gain an insight into their behaviour. A long term monitoring program is in place, annually monitoring over 90 mounds on a rotational basis from over 500, both historical and recent mounds, identified within 20 Km of the Karara Mine Site. This has provided valuable information on the nesting patterns of Malleefowl.

Malleefowl’s on average lay 14 eggs. The male spends several hours each day covering and uncovering the nest to regulate the heat generation by composting vegetation and using its beak as a thermometer, is able to maintain a nest temperature of 32-340C.

An extensive multi-year research program is also being undertaken on site by Curtin University, which is improving our understanding and ability to protect the Western Spiny-tailed Skink, furthering the knowledge base on Malleefowl’s and providing information on the implications of potential stressors from mining activities on protected species.

 

Feral Fauna Control

A targeted feral animal control program is operated by Karara to control feral animals and protect native flora, fauna and their habitat. The management program has included the use of motion sensor cameras at trapping sites to increase understanding about food lures and improve the success of trapping programs.

Goats trapped at Karara Village

 

Additional Scientific Research and Collaboration

Karara punches well above its weight in funding and supporting scientific research. Karara was a founding research partner with the Centre for Mine Site Restoration (CMSR) which now supports over 20 researchers and 10 post-graduate students, undertaking novel restoration field research, much of it centred on Karara. The research represents the largest and most diverse mining restoration research hub in Western Australia. The research group has published multiple papers in international journals addressing a broad range of restoration topics including seed enablement, fauna utilisation of restored habitats, the development of microbial communities in post mining substrates; identifying suitable species and restoration techniques for tailing facilities.

One recent publication examines the use of restored habitat at Karara Mine Sites by goannas. The work conducted by Sophie Cross of Curtin University examined burrows, diggings and tracks in undisturbed and restored landscapes and gathered information on the movements of one individual for 3 weeks by attaching a GPS/VHS transmitter. The research provides valuable information for Australia’s mining industry and has recommendations on how to make the early stages of restored habitats more suitable for goannas.

The goanna with the VHF/GPS unit attached to its back. Photograph: S. Cross.

Restored habitat at Blue Hills North. Photograph: S. Cross.

Environmental Offsets

As part of the Karara Project approval with the Western Australian Government, Karara entered into an extensive offset agreement with the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions. The multi-million dollar and multi-year project will support the government to plan and manage the “Karara Complex” – a massive 560,672 ha area of Mid West bush lands comprised of former pastoral properties, timber and nature reserves.

Karara has funded the development of a management plan for the Karara Complex which has set goals to:

  • Stabilise and reverse decline in landscape condition
  • Recover degraded habitats
  • Promote habitat diversification
  • Restore endemic native species and communities towards pre-pastoral assemblages
  • Protect and promote cultural heritage
  • Engage Aboriginal Traditional Owners in planning and management
  • Engage with neighbours and other stakeholders
  • Provide for and promote recreation and tourism

Karara and DBCA have established a governance structure and process to identify, approve and implement programs of work which support the overall vision and goals of the management plan.

Rehabilitation of Mungada Ridge Exploration Disturbance

In 2009, Karara Mining Limited (KML) agreed to surrender mining interests over tenement M59/650 (Mungada Ridge) as part of the environmental offsets package negotiated for the Greater Karara Iron Ore Project (KIOP). During May 2020, the rehabilitation of the exploration activities along the ridge was completed as a requirement under the Mining Act 1978, and the approved Exploration Programme of Works. This rehabilitation was a key step towards KML relinquishment of tenement M59/650 for the development of a Class A Reserve over the area.

A look out point on Mungada Ridge

A rehabilitated cut and fill drill pad in the Tor Area, Mungada Ridge.

One of the numerous Acacia woodmaniorum (a species listed as threatened under Commonwealth legislation) protected and conserved during rehabilitation.

Environmental Policy

At Karara, we place a premium value on the environmental and heritage values of the mid-west region where we operate. To protect and enhance the environment and to eliminate or reduce any potential adverse impacts, we:

  • Assess and prioritise environmental and heritage matters associated with our activities;
  • Commit to protect the environment, through:
    1. The prevention of pollution from our operations
    2. Incorporate environmental considerations in the planning for any work task we do;
    3. Progressively rehabilitate any areas impacted by our operations and activities; and
    4. Implement programs to proactively manage regional biodiversity.
  • Never compromise on our environmental or heritage standards and obligations;
  • Communicate openly with all our stakeholders on environmental matters;
  • Engage local communities to manage country in culturally sensitive ways;
  • Partner with agencies to support research to understand the local environment;
  • Set environmental objectives and measure achievement towards them to continuously improve outcomes and maintain compliance with our obligations;
  • Apply, maintain and continually improve an effective environmental management system to enhance environmental performance;
  • Meet the minimum legal requirements and regulatory obligations that apply for our business activities.

Respect for Culture and Tradition

Karara has developed a close, collaborative and successful relationship with local indigenous people and communities, underpinned by recognition and respect for the traditions, customs, culture, dignity and connection to country of the Aboriginal people and communities where we operate.

We recognise that special factors are involved in the interaction of Aboriginal and European culture and we work closely with local indigenous groups to ensure that our operations are undertaken in a culturally acceptable manner.

Who We Are

Board of Directors & Senior Management
Gindalbie
Ansteel

Shao An Lin

Chairman

Mr Shao has worked with China’s Ansteel Group for more than 20 years. He holds a PhD in Mining and has held a host of senior positions in Ansteel’s iron ore operations, including as Chief Engineer of the Dong An Shan Iron Ore Mine, General Manager of Yan Qian Shan Iron Ore Mine and Deputy General Manager of Gong Chang Ling Iron Ore Co. In 2006, Mr Shao was appointed as General Manager of Ansteel Group Mining Company. He is also the President of the Metallurgical Mine Association of China. Mr Shao was appointed to the Karara Board in April 2013. In December 2016, Mr Shao was appointed as Chairman of Ansteel Group Mining Company and in April 2017 he was appointed Vice President of Ansteel Group Corporation.

Li Zhiqi

Director

Mr Li has extensive knowledge of management in the Chinese mining industry. He is qualified as a Senior Economist in material management and has held senior positions in Ansteel’s Iron Ore operations, including as General Manager of Fu Zhou Wan Clay Plant. He has held senior roles with Ansteel Group Mining Company including as Deputy General Manager of Affiliated Company; General Manager of Supply and Marketing Company; and General Manager of Finance. In 2016, Mr Li was appointed as Deputy General Manager of Ansteel Group Mining Company. Mr Li was appointed to the Karara Board in June 2016.

Zhu Changjiang

Director and Chief Executive Officer

Mr Zhu has over 20 years of experience with Ansteel Group Corporation of China. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Northeastern University of China and a master degree in Economics Management, and has held various senior maintenance positions across Ansteel Group Mining Company’s iron ore operations including as Manager - Mechanical Maintenance, Manager - Pelletizing Plant and General Manager Processing for the Gong Chang Ling Iron Ore Operation. In 2016, Mr Zhu was appointed as Deputy Director Production & Operations of Ansteel Group Mining Company. He is a Council Member of Metallurgical Mine Association of China. In June 2017, Mr Zhu was appointed to the Karara Board; he was appointed as General Manager Operations for Karara Mining in August 2017. Mr Zhu was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in October 2019.

Shi Lei

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

With a career spanning more than 30 years with Ansteel Group Mining Company, Mr Shi has extensive experience in finance and cost management for mining operations. He has held various senior positions in Ansteel Group Mining Company, including Superintendent Finance and Assistant Mine Manager for Ansteel Group Mining Company’s open pit iron ore operation, Deputy Mine Manager of Dengta limestone mine and Manager Finance for the Gong Chang Ling Iron Ore Operation. In 2014, he was appointed as Manager of the Finance Shared Service Centre for Ansteel Group Mining Company. He is a Finance Committee member of the Metallurgical Mine Association of China. Mr Shi was appointed as the CFO of Karara Mining in January 2017.

Christopher Gerrard

Company Secretary

Christopher joined Karara in May 2010 as Company Secretary. He provides leadership for the company’s legal and regulatory affairs, ethics and compliance programs and corporate governance activities including litigation, contractual, fiscal, property and other regulatory/legislative issues. Mr Gerrard previously served as General Counsel for Austal Limited, an ASX-listed global shipbuilder. He has held various senior executive and legal roles in government service and the private sector. He graduated from the Australian National University with Honours in Law and Economics. He began his career as an Associate for Justice RJA Franki of the Federal Court of Australia and is admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Australia. He is a Certificated Member of the Governance Institute of Australia.

Gindalbie Metals Ltd (47.84%)

Gindalbie Metals Ltd is an independent ASX-listed Australian resources company based in Perth, Western Australia. Instrumental in the development phase of Karara, Gindalbie is focused on the development of other projects in its portfolio, including the Mt Gunson base metals project in South Australia. Ansteel holds a 35.89% interest in Gindalbie. Please visit Gindalbie's website for further information.

Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corporation (52.16%)

Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corporation (the Ansteel Group) is located in the Liaoning Province of Northern China and is one of the largest steelmakers and iron ore miners in the country. It produces about 40Mtpa of steel, with plans to increase production to >50Mtpa and deliver major industry rationalisation in China. Ansteel provides underpinning support for Karara, including long-term demand for the supply of high-quality ore; ongoing offtake agreement arrangements; and funding support. Please visit Ansteel's website for further information.

Our Company

Karara Mining Ltd was established in 2007 through a joint venture between China’s Ansteel Group – the Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corporation (52.16%) and Gindalbie Metals Limited (47.84%) to develop and operate the Karara mine. Ansteel also holds a 35.89% interest in GBG.

Karara produces a premium, high-grade (66-68% Fe) magnetite concentrate at a design production rate of 8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa).

Karara Mining Water Licence Application

In 2017 the Karara Iron Ore Project achieved an annual iron ore concentrate production rate of 8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa). To achieve this production level on a consistent basis, Karara will require a modest increase in water allocation for the Project. As part of these operational requirements, Karara has applied to the Department of Water and Environment Regulation (DWER) to increase its water licence allocation from 5 to 7 Glpa per annum Read more

Our Investment

Since project inception, Karara has made a total capital commitment of some AUD$4 billion. This includes >AUD$1 billion in new common-use infrastructure in the Mid West, comprising an 85 km rail line, a dedicated 16 Mtpa export facility in Geraldton Port, a 330 kV power transmission line and a 140 km water pipeline. This significant capital investment is delivering long-term benefits to the Mid West region and Western Australia, including direct and indirect job opportunities, community partnerships, export revenue, taxes and royalties.

Our Commitment

Karara is an important part of the Mid West region community and we are committed to continue working closely with local communities to help identify and support sustainable development opportunities in the Mid West region. Our environmental objective is to maintain the abundance, diversity, geographic distribution and productivity of flora and fauna at species and ecosystem levels.  Karara will eliminate or minimise any actual or potential impact on flora and fauna at the Karara mine-site and our regional infrastructure through proactive application of our management system, and compliance with established policies and our licence conditions.

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