Renewable energy, recycling materials and research programs are all aspiring to win the Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS)’s 2019 Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence.
Ranging from the innovative use of discarded materials, to setting new standards in renewable energy use and guarding delicate marine environments, this year’s nominee projects demonstrate a strong commitment to reducing waste and protecting the environment across the board.
Now in its 28th year, the Golden Gecko Award aims to recognise outstanding contributions to innovation and environmental outcomes in the resources sector.
Geckos are among the last species to return to an area after a land disturbance such as mining, and their presence indicates a return to a healthy functioning ecosystem.
This is why the gecko was deemed the symbol of environmental performance.
Receiving a Golden Gecko Award helps to build the reputation of being a responsible corporate citizen with a responsible attitude to the environment.
According to the DMIRS, just participating in the Golden Gecko Awards process has been known to internally increase awareness and interest across an organisation in environmental work.
Mines and Petroleum Minister, Bill Johnston, said that there is an increased global focus on renewables, recycling and repurposing of materials and that it’s great to see these projects are demonstrating that Western Australia is aiming to be a leader in this area.
“By sharing these projects with industry, the department is encouraging others in the resources sector to continually improve and be at the forefront in environmental outcomes,” he commented.
The winner of the Golden Gecko Award will be announced at the department’s Resources Sector Awards for Excellence on August 22, 2019, along with the Community Partnership Resources Sector Award.
The eligible nominees are:
The DeGrussa Solar Project, Sandfire Resources NL
Since commencing in 2016, this project has reduced Sandfire Resources’ carbon emissions at the DeGrussa Copper-Gold Mine by 30,789 tonnes and offset the use of 11 million litres of diesel. It is the largest integrated off-grid solar and battery storage facility in Australia.
Exmouth Integrated Artificial Reef, Subcon, BHP, NERA, Recfishwest, Curtin University
Also known as King Reef, this is the largest purpose-built integrated artificial reef in the Southern Hemisphere and the first of its kind in Australia. What makes it so unique is the reef is partially made up of repurposed offshore structures from the oil and gas industry.
Drill Bit Recycling Program, Australasian Mining Services Pty Ltd (AMS)
AMS collects used drill bits and organises transport from mine sites across the Pilbara to their recycling facility to extract tungsten carbide. Since January 2016, AMS in conjunction with Fortescue Metals Group and Roy Hill Holdings has recycled 133,279 kilograms of material and donated $97,857 to community groups, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Roy Hill Community Foundation.
Dredging Science Node, The Western Australian Marine Science Institution
This collaborative research project is set to improve the planning and regulation of major dredging operations in Western Australia, nationally and internationally. The project utilises in-depth analysis and applied science to improve confidence in the social, environmental and financial outcomes of major dredging activities associated with construction and expansion projects in the mining, energy and port sectors.
More information on the Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence can be found here.