Managing biodiversity and ecosystems is a priority for our sites. Wherever extraction occurs, their is a plan to restore the site. These plans vary from allowing natural succession to occur, with little involvement by the company, rehabilitating the site back to its former glory (in order to achieve what we call 'No Net Loss'), or even developing a much more specific plan with the aim of achieving a Net Positive Gain - which means that the site is in a better state than it was prior to extraction.
Such projects and developed can be developed in many ways, with many companies working together with local NGOs and research institutes to identify the solution most suited to that particular site.
In this section, you will find a few examples of such projects.
The Neves Corvo mine, is operated by Somincor (Lundin Mining group) and started its operation in 1988. Is one of the EU largest underground copper mines; yearly outputs around 220K Tons of copper concentrate, 145K Tons of zinc concentrate and 10K Tons of lead concentrate, employing directly around 1000 workers and 1110 contractors. The mine has big surface industrial facilities and plants. Is located in the Iberian Pyrite Belt: one of the largest VMS provinces in the world, and overlaps with Natura 2000 network.
In this link you can learn about the work that is being done and also watch the Documentary Alentejo- The song of Earth which is a wildlife documentary integrated into the project for the dissemination of Neves Corvo biodiversity. It is production for Somincor - Lundin Mining Corporation, adherent to the Business and Biodiversity Initiative, with the scientific partnership of the Centre for Environmental Biology of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon.
Ecological restoration of gypsum quarries in South East Spain
Recent studies have highlighted the gypsum outcrops of Spain as the most outstanding for the conservation of gypsiferous flora. Open cast gypsum mining rehabilitation is made difficult because the original soil resource is not retained and local substitute materials, that is, soil-forming materials (SFMs), have to be used as growing media. One severe limitation of SFMs is their poor inherent structure and nutrient content, mainly derived from their low organic matter (OM) content. Concerning this case, the restoration strategy carried out in open cast gypsum quarry on Southeast Spain was mainly based on geomorphological reconstruction, subsuperficial organic amendment (Municipal solid waste compost) and topsoil replacement. A 5-year field study has been carried out in 2 landfill materials (gypsum fines and sterile material) to evaluate the effect of these materials on the evolution of soil chemical properties and to consider amendment addition. The influence of chemical and physical soil properties on plant community has been studied since rehabilitation success could be conditioned by landfill materials. The results showed that there is a clear difference between the 2 landfill materials. Sterile material is characterized by a higher nutrient and carbonate content and more heterogeneous texture than gypsum fines. Therefore, landfill materials would benefit different life forms hence plant community is dominated by annual species in gypsum fines while shrubs are clearly dominant in sterile material. All this leads us to establish that amendment addition could be considered an efficient tool to enhance ecological restoration.
The gypsum mining area in the “Vena del Gesso” biodiversity landscapes (Monte Tondo quarry, Emilia-Romagna Region): quarrying and old mine tunnels environment impact on natural karsts systems and groundwater quality
Roberto Margutti Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Pavia, Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy email@example.com Direzione “Exploration, Mining & Recycling”, Saint-Gobain Gyproc Italia, Via Ettore Romagnoli 6, 20145 Milan, Italy This environmental geology study develops and correlates different earth science subjects and investigation tools to evaluate the environment health of Borgo Rivola “Vena del Gesso” zone, known as an important naturalistic and characteristic landscape of Romagna’s Northern Apennines, involved in the largest gypsum mining industry of the country. A particular focus is due to the assessment of groundwater drainage and quality, proposing operating and mining development guidelines in agreement with environment sustainable principles.
ANATOMICAL CONSIDERATIONS ON SPANISH GYPSOPHYTES. WHERE IS THEIR PLACE WITHIN PLANT ECOLOGY?
Several gypsophytes collected from gypsum soils (Tuejar, Spain) were histo-anatomically investigated. Their anatomical features are discussed in relation to environmental conditions and possible constraint factors occurring in these gypsic areas. The apparent xeromorphosis adaptations (intense lignification, succulence, presence of protective hairs) could suggest that gypsophytes vegetate in habitats affected by physical or physiological drought. However, the nature and position of these species in a distinct, well-defined ecological class are largely commented.
Developing biodiversity indicators on a stakeholders’ opinions basis: the gypsum industry Key Performance Indicators framework
This study aims to establish a common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) framework for reporting about the gypsum industry biodiversity at the European level. In order to integrate different opinions and to reach a consensus framework, an original participatory process approach has been developed among different stakeholder groups: Eurogypsum, European and regional authorities, university scientists, consulting offices, European and regional associations for the conservation of nature, and the extractive industry. The strategy is developed around four main steps: (1) building of a maximum set of indicators to be submitted to stakeholders based on the literature (Focus Group method); (2) evaluating the consensus about indicators through a policy Delphi survey aiming at the prioritization of indicator classes using the Analytic Hierarchy Process method (AHP) and of individual indicators; (3) testing acceptability and feasibility through analysis of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and visits to three European quarries; (4) Eurogypsum final decision and communication. The resulting framework contains a set of 11 indicators considered the most suitable for all the stakeholders. Our KPIs respond to European legislation and strategies for biodiversity. The framework aims at improving sustainability in quarries and at helping to manage biodiversity as well as to allow the creation of coherent reporting systems. The final goal is to allow for the definition of the actual biodiversity status of gypsum quarries and allow for enhancing it. The framework is adaptable to the local context of each gypsum quarry.
Biodiversity indicators are an essential tool for understanding and managing changes in biodiversity. Efforts by the private sector to develop biodiversity indicators have often focussed on measuring biodiversity management actions rather than measuring on the ground changes in the status of, and pressures on, biodiversity. This is largely due to methodological and data challenges. This document is a report on activities conducted during an initial scoping study to understand how progress might be made within the extractive sector in creating effective indicators to establish corporate biodiversity performance. It summarises the results of an analysis of the needs, drivers and current practice relating to biodiversity indicators within the extractives sector. The initial research was carried out between March and June 2017, in collaboration with Stuart Anstee& Associates. It is based on interviews with eleven companies and a desk review of existing and emerging guidance and approaches. Subsequently, on June 28th2017, approximately 50 representatives from industry and other interested organisations met in Cambridge, UK, to explore the findings of the scoping study as part of the annual meeting of the Proteus Partnership.
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