The company’s sustainability practices align with this slogan and have been detailed in its first Sustainability Report.
The following highlights from the report offer an account of Metro’s practices and achievements.
Metro’s flagship project Bauxite Hills Mine is 95 kilometres north of Weipa and is one of the largest independent projects within the Weipa Bauxite Region.
The company holds a total tenement package covering about 1,900 square kilometres on Western Cape York.
Metro recognises its sustainability responsibilities include its response to a changing environment and the company continually seeks to minimise its environmental footprint.
Mine site rehabilitation is a key component of this as is the effective management of water, waste and energy.
Health and safety
2019 was the first year the Bauxite Hills Mine operated as an owner-operator business.
Previously all mining activities had been outsourced to a contractor.
Changing to an owner-operator business resulted in Metro establishing and developing corporate health and safety systems, procedures and culture.
Metro’s major achievements in 2019 included strengthening the Bauxite Hills Mine health and safety team, developing health and safety governance systems and processes, implementing the Qudos Compliance and Risk Management System, extensive health and safety training to all staff and implementation of monitoring and audit processes.
Metro is committed to achieving strategic goals through the implementation of sustainable environmental management programs across all aspects of its business.
Before any construction or mining commenced at Bauxite Hills Mine, Metro incorporated environmental risk minimisation into the overall mine plan.
The Bauxite Hills Mine reduced a number of significant environmental risks associated with mining by:
Not beneficiating the bauxite ore means no tailings dams are required and use of water resources is significantly reduced;
Having no landfill on-site means all of the mine’s wastes are either recycled and remediated on-site or moved off-site and transported to certified waste contractors;
Removing Big Footprint Swamp from the Mining Lease ensured no mining operations would ever directly impact this culturally and environmentally sensitive area;
Using shallow-draft barges and tugs for transhipping activities avoided any dredging of the Skardon River.
The majority of waters surrounding Bauxite Hills Mine are considered to be of high ecological value, placing greater priority on monitoring and managing the water systems to ensure there is no negative impact on receiving environments.
Water management on-site ensures groundwaters, surface waters, mine water releases, stormwater and dust suppression activities are undertaken in compliance with all relevant water licensing and industry regulators.
Metro has a stakeholder engagement plan for the Bauxite Hills Mine that extends into the local and wider communities, incorporating social and environmental groups, Aboriginal and Regional Councils, the Port Authority, as well as State and Commonwealth Government departments.
Every year an offer is made to identified stakeholders for Metro to deliver an update on the Bauxite Hills mining operations and to answer any questions.
Stakeholders decide if they want to accept the offer and thereby determine their own level of involvement.
The Bauxite Hills Mine provides a regular newsletter to maintain an overview of how the mine is progressing.
The newsletter is produced at least three times a year and is handed out at community events, sent to all relevant stakeholders and is also made available on Metro Mining’s website.
Metro seeks to support the communities in which it operates and utilises local and regional suppliers wherever possible and practical.
Metro advertises for goods and services in the region and wherever possible gives preference to local contractors.
Due to the remoteness of Bauxite Hills Mine, and the associated cost of transporting goods, local suppliers are always given preference when available.