Karara places a premium value on the environmental and heritage values of the Mid West region where we operate. Karara is a long-life operation; effective management systems and strategies to protect and enhance the environment and to eliminate or reduce any potential impacts are critical.
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 - Magnetite Concentrate||Pilbara Blend Hematite Ore|
Karara has successfully applied innovation to achieve environmental best practice. A range of leading environmental programs have been developed and implemented to enhance the environment and ensure that statutory and compliance obligations are met.
Malleefowl Protection Program
The malleefowl is a rare and endangered ground-dwelling bird which inhabits semi-arid areas of Australia, including the Mid West. Since Karara’s development, the company has had a special interest in and taken active steps to improve the available knowledge and understanding of malleefowl. This has included award-winning programs such as the use of motion sensor cameras to monitor active malleefowl mounds and gain an insight into their behaviour. Other initiatives include environmental training and awareness programs, mound site monitoring and intensive surveys by the Malleefowl Preservation Group on Badja Station – a pastoral lease previously owned and operated by Karara that is now privately held.
Rehabilitation and Restoration of Threatened Species
The Mid West is home to the threatened shrub species Acacia Woodmaniorum. Karara has collaborated closely with the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) to ensure the ongoing recovery of this endangered species. Karara and DPaW 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 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.
Feral Fauna Control
A targeted and year-round feral animal trapping program is operated by Karara to control feral animals and protect native flora, native fauna, habitat and food sources. Specific training and awareness programs for staff to improve understanding and successful management of feral animals around Karara are in place. The management program includes the use of motion sensor cameras at trapping sites to increase understanding about food lures and improve the success of trapping programs.
The Karara Community – Karara Village
Karara directly employs about 380 people and indirectly employs hundreds of contractor employees. During their work roster and while on site, our staff live in the Karara Village. The village can accommodate more than 1,300 people in ensuited motel-style rooms and has a host of other fully integrated camp facilities. A range of innovative measures have been implemented to provide environmental benefits and manage the environmental challenges associated with a camp of this scale.
An aquaponics system, using nutrient-rich water from on-site fish ponds to enrich garden beds has been established. The system produces a multitude of vegetables for consumption by village residents, as well as native seedlings for rehabilitation work.
Bulk waste vegetable oils from the Karara Village are converted into biodiesel in a purpose-built facility located at Karara’s landfill precinct. The fuel generated from this process is used to power vehicles and generators on the mine site. The recycling of waste oil provides financial and environmental benefits by reducing costs associated with waste oil transport and diesel fuel consumption. A regional waste oil collection and recycling service is also planned.
Karara aims to reduce waste output from the operation as much as practicable. Through close collaboration with all our contractor partners, our waste management program is able to efficiently separate putrescible and non-putrescible waste, minimise waste to landfill and to also produce high-quality compost material for use in rehabilitation work. The large-scale collection of scrap metal material and other recyclable waste is a standard approach in our operation. Funds raised through the recycling of large volumes of scrap metals and other materials are directed to the Karara Community Health Fund. Proceeds from the Fund are awarded to selected regional community initiatives to advance projects that meet community requirements and provide specific community benefits.
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:
- The prevention of pollution from our operations
- Incorporate environmental considerations in the planning for any work task we do;
- Progressively rehabilitate any areas impacted by our operations and activities; and
- 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.