Mining company and Indigenous group win new Community Partnership Award

Inaugural community partnership award presented and Golden Gecko Awards go to two projects in milestone 25th year at Awards for Excellence
Date: Friday, 28 October 2016

A community farm created by an iron ore company and an Indigenous organisation has taken out the inaugural Community Partnership Resources Sector Award.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Sean L’Estrange presented the award last night to the magnetite miner Karara Mining Limited and the Midwest Economic and Employment Development Aboriginal Corporation (MEEDAC) at the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s (DMP) annual Awards for Excellence ceremony in Perth.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Sean L'Estrange presents the inaugural Community Partnership Award.

The selection committee commented that the company had far exceeded its social responsibility by forming a partnership with MEEDAC to create and run a sustainable commercial 2000-hectare farm called Innovation Park about 200km east of Geraldton.

The farm produces eggs, fruit and vegetables which are sold locally, back to the Karara mine site, and donated to the local food bank.

Innovation Park also provides training and employment opportunities locally, and to the broader community.

DMP Acting Director General Dr Tim Griffin said the Community Partnership Awards identify resources industry operators prepared to go beyond meeting their regulatory obligations to ensure they are delivering world best practice standards for a sustainable mining future.

"There is strong community expectation that the highest standards will be adopted across WA’s resources sector to ensure health, safety and the environment are not compromised and the sector is sustainable for the benefit of generations to come," Dr Griffin said.

“Karara Mining Limited has demonstrated it is doing that while also building community confidence as responsible corporate citizens and showcasing the innovative and significant work that resources companies are undertaking to protect the environment and build confidence to gain a social licence to operate."

The inaugural Awards for Excellence evening also recognised the 25th Anniversary for DMP’s prestigious Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence which recognise environmental excellence, leadership and performance above and beyond the State’s environmental management requirements.

This year two companies were awarded a Golden Gecko. APA Group and Kingfisher Environmental Consulting were recognised for a program that monitored the endangered small marsupial, Sandhill Dunnart, and Strike Drilling Pty Ltd won for developing a drill rig that significantly reduced environmental impacts.

The selection committee commented that all entries were of a very high calibre and congratulated mining and petroleum industries for their innovation and setting new standards in environmental management.

Other awards presented during the evening included:

  • Golden Gecko Certificate of Merit: Roy Hill Infrastructure Pty Ltd for a project to minimise impact to mangroves in Port Hedland..
  • Enduring Partnership Award: Rio Tinto Iron Ore and Scitech Discovery Centre.
  • Community Partnership Merit Award: Cliffs Asia Pacific Iron Ore and Esperance Senior High School, Esperance Anglican Community School, Merredin College and Southern Cross District High School.
  • Community Partnership Merit Award: Newmont Boddington Gold and Gnaala Karla Booja Native Title Claimants.

The DMP’s Awards for Excellence night will now become an annual event showcasing the community Partnership Resources Awards and the Golden Geckos.

2016 Golden gecko winner
APA Group and Kingfisher Environmental Consulting accepting their Golden Gecko
Golden gecko winner
Strike Drilling Pty Ltd accepting their Golden Gecko