The world’s largest miner BHP Billiton expects to continue mining operations in western Australia’s Pilbara region for more than 100 years and will shortly release a long-term future plan for its mining operations.
The company, which has been digging in the region for half a century, said in a statement that it would release a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of its iron ore assets to ensure better long term environmental planning and management of its operations.
“The SEA is the first of its kind in the Australian mining industry and gives an overview of the regional environmental footprint of all of the Company’s current and potential future Pilbara-based iron ore operations, BHP Billiton said in a statement.
It said the SEA provides greater visibility of the miner’s potential environmental footprint over the next 50 to 100 years, improving its ability, as well as the government’s, to plan for future operations.
The SEA will be made public and open for comment from 21 March 2016 and would provide a readily available source of environmental information for others to draw on.
“We expect to continue to mine in the region for more than 100 years, which enables us to give back to the communities that have supported us for so long. The SEA demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the Pilbara and our host communities over the long term,” said Edgar Basto, the asset president of BHP Billiton Western Australia Iron Ore.