We acknowledge that the practice of resource extraction will always result in environmental impacts.
At Northern Star, our goal is to minimise and manage the long and short-term environmental impacts of our operations. We are constantly looking for opportunities to deliver lasting environmental shared-value, both in and around our operations.
Underpinning the achievement of this goal is our Company-wide Environmental Policy, which directs our environmental management practices across all our business areas.
Through a framework of continuous improvement, we aim to advance our environmental performance, and deliver more resilient environmental management methods to remove, reduce, mitigate and remediate environmental impacts.
The below case studies illustrate how our environmental policy and management practices contribute to a shared-value outcome for both Northern Star and local stakeholders, beyond regulatory environmental compliance.
At our Jundee Gold Mine, located 50kms west of Wiluna, in the northern goldfields region of Western Australia, we have entered into a partnership between the local Martu Aboriginal people, the Central Desert Native Title Service and neighbouring pastoralists to more effectively manage the biodiversity values on our mining leases and neighbouring pastoral stations.
Initiated in 2012, the project is shaped by a, beyond-compliance, biodiversity management plan that captures the interests of the Martu, the pastoralists and Northern Star. Acknowledging that each partner brings different skills, knowledge and resources to the table, the project can more effectively deliver on biodiversity outcomes.
The program uses an Ecologically Sustainable Rangelands Management planning process that holistically encompasses fire management, erosion control, grazing pressure reduction, feral animal management and threatened species monitoring.
Most importantly, the project ensures the Martu Aboriginal people continue to work on and manage their country, something they have been doing effectively for tens of thousands of years.
Our Paulsens Gold Mine, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, is home to two conservation significant species of native bats: the Pilbara Leaf-nosed Bat (Rhinonicterus auriantia) and the Ghost bat (Macroderma gigas).
The Pilbara Leaf-nose bat is listed as vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and in Schedule 1 (rare or likely to become extinct) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.
Uniquely, both species of bats have taken up residence in our historical mine shafts. Further, the humid and hot conditions and complex nature of the shafts indicate these artificial habitats are consistent with maternity roost sites.
Given these mine shafts are located at the extreme southern roosting boundary for both species, they are considered to be important for both species.
Acting on our Environmental Policy, our environmental team has implemented a site-wide bat management plan, to ensure our ongoing mining operations do not pose any significant threats to either species. We periodically monitor the populations through use of a number of echolocation recorders, and have developed exclusion zones and quarantine buffers around the perimeter of the shaft openings.