Arrium is committed to pursuing a high standard of environmental management throughout its operations. We strive for continual improvement in environmental performance, the efficient use of resources, and the minimisation or prevention of pollution.
For detailed information on Arrium’s 2015 energy, emissions and water usage, read pages 48-49 of 2015 Annual Report.
As Arrium’s largest user of town water, Whyalla Steelworks and Arrium Mining continue to work towards minimising their use of Murray River water through a variety of avenues:
Optimised flow control for Blast Furnace water pump seals
The optimisation of flow control for the Blast Furnace water pump seals at the Whyalla Steelworks was one of the many water efficiency projects that contributed to the 11% improvement in water intensity in FY15.
Fresh water from the Murray River is used to flush the mechanical seals on the four Blast Furnace salt water booster pumps to ensure longevity. Our teams worked to reduce the flow rate of water required to flush the seals by more than two thirds by installing flow control values. The $1,000 investment is now saving more than 63,000 kL of Murray River water per year - equivalent to 25 Olympic swimming pools.
Significant Expansion in Mine Rehabilitation
To protect biodiversity, Arrium has an approved Program for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) in place for its mines in South Australia. A PEPR identifies all relevant environmental, social and economic impacts that may result from the proposed activities and how each of the identified impacts will be managed or avoided.
While 218 hectares was disturbed due to mining activity near Whyalla, South Australia in FY15, approximately six hectares was rehabilitated at the same time (a further 82 hectares of rehabilitation is planned for FY16). This means that planned rehabilitation in FY16 will be the equivalent of the combined rehabilitation undertaken in all years up to the end of FY15.
This significant expansion calls for a variety of techniques to match the challenging conditions. Maintaining unconsolidated soil cover on slopes is an example of these challenges so different final cover establishment techniques, such as “seed boxing”, are being trialled with good early results. Seed boxing refers to a technique in which repeated depressions are created in the soil surface of a rehabilitated area. This captures rainwater and therefore minimises runoff and erosion, maximising infiltration and providing localised areas in which seeds are more likely to germinate and establish.
Environmental regulation and performance
Arrium’s operations are subject to various environmental regulations at a national, state and local level. Where this regulation is particular and significant, compliance is assured through Environmental Management Systems to the ISO14001 standard. Compliance with this regulation was generally achieved in FY15 and there were no monetary penalties issued.
View our Environment Policy.
As required by the NSW Government, Arrium provides the results of environmental monitoring and Pollution Incident Response Management Plans for NSW licenced sites below:
Arrium reports containing NSW Environmental Monitoring Results (OneSteel website)
Arrium Pollution Incident Response Management Plans (OneSteel website)