Western Areas guards against bushfire threats

Western Areas has completed further controlled burns at the Forrestania nickel operation in the Goldfields region of Western Australia to brace for future fire seasons.

The company noted an increase in bushfire incidents in the southern parts of Western Australia, which could place its workers, infrastructure and power supply at risk.

The Forrestania operation was threatened by two major bushfires in December 2019 and February 2020, which forced the company to suspend production temporarily.

All surface infrastructure assets were defended and workers were safe during these events.

Western Areas stated in its 2020 environmental, social and governance (ESG) report that the Forrestania emergency response team was a registered fire brigade within the Kondinin Shire.

Western Areas runs two underground hard rock mining operations and a mill recovery enhancement project at Forrestania.

As well as preparing for fire season, Western Areas is also undertaking construction works at the Cosmos nickel operation in Western Australia.

The company is installing a hoisting shaft for the Odyssues mine at the complex, which will transport ore to the surface.

This will replace the use of underground trucks, saving around 1.5 million litres of diesel.

The increased in construction and underground development activities at Cosmos contributed to a 6 per cent increase in company emissions during the 2020 financial year.

Western Areas is considering the use of hybrid renewable energy at Cosmos, an operation that is set to benefit from renewables the most, according to the company.

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