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Anglo helping to restore Amazon-like rainforest near Brazil iron-ore mine

Anglo Sustainability Update covered by Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

23rd April 2024

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified mining company Anglo American is taking steps to help to restore an Amazon rainforest equivalent of which less than 10% remains intact.

The Mata Atlántica carbon forest is located near Anglo’s Minas-Rio iron-ore mine, in Brazil.

Anglo intends playing a role in the recovery of the rich biome by reforestation amounting to more than 2 000 ha a year and the removal of 600 000 t of carbon-dioxide equivalent a year.

This news emerged during the London- and Johannesburg-listed mining major’s sustainability performance update, opened by CE Duncan Wanblad. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)

This included how its integrated approach to sustainability is unlocking value and securing its ability to deliver responsible long-term growth in future-enabling metals and minerals.

“While mining footprints are comparatively small, we believe we can play a positive role,” Anglo nature and land head Ian Hudson stated during the webinar covered by Mining Weekly.

“We already have over 20 000 ha of this important biome under our management. Across our operations in Brazil, we undertake compensation and restoration works to increase that local biodiversity surrounding our operations,” Hudson added.

Wanblad described sustainability as a pre-requisite for value creation in mining, through the delivery of operational excellence, portfolio improvement, and growth.

“Our sustainability and technology capabilities, and our approach to customer-centric marketing of our metal and mineral products, position us strongly as a partner of choice and thereby to create enduring value for all our stakeholders.

“Together, these are central to what we see as a competitive advantage in how we develop projects such as Quellaveco, Woodsmith and Sakatti, designed as the next generation of our FutureSmart Mines, with enhanced sustainability outcomes,” said Wanblad.

Anglo sustainability director Helena Nonka emphasised the embedding of sustainability by the group into its strategy and value creation model, “from portfolio choices to our everyday operational decisions”.

“One such example of our integrated approach is our work on nature, for which there are numerous compelling business cases, such as significant reductions in closure and rehabilitation costs, but also helping build greater trust in mining as societal expectations of our industry continue to increase in parallel with the need for essential metals and minerals.

“The health of our business is dependent on a healthy environment and we recognise the value of being able to share how our business measures and manages its key interfaces with nature so that our stakeholders can be confident in our approach to achieving a net positive impact on biodiversity,” Nonka added.

INTEGRATED APPROACH TO NATURE

Nature rightly continues to gain momentum on the global agenda, with increased recognition of the threats to nature, its societal importance and the value of nature-based solutions to tackle climate change impacts, Anglo stated in a media release.

Its pathway to achieving net biodiversity gains in the areas it operates began with the implementation of its biodiversity standard at the end of 2018.

This standard defines how Anglo measures, assesses and manages biodiversity across its value chain and mining lifecycle – through to closure and regeneration.

Detailed baseline assessments across all managed operations have been completed. These define and assess significant biodiversity features, including habitats, species and ecosystems to protect and further restore.

In addition, a biodiversity management programme has been developed for each of its sites.

The plans are also used to feed into regional and national biodiversity programmes, adding value beyond its own site work.

“We’re exploring partnerships, biomonitoring programmes and pioneering measurement metrics to support net positive impacts.

This includes the group’s programme of sampling water, soil, air down to a microbial level to help it assess and monitor the environment.

Regarding water, planned initiatives include fresh water savings at Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen operation in South Africa’s Northern Cape as well as at Anglo American Platinum’s Amandelbult mine in Limpopo.

Renewable energy generated from Anglo partner Envusa in South Africa will amount to 3 GW to 5 GW by 2030, along with a 30% improvement in energy efficiency and the creation of five off-mine-site jobs to the creation of every one on-mine-site job.

As an active member of the Taskforce on Nature-based Financial Disclosures, Anglo has been an early adopter of the recommendations set out by this framework.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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