Resources innovation rewarded
The Pilbara recorded a clean sweep in one of this year’s prestigious resources sector awards at a ceremony at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday night.
Businesses and community groups from the area were honoured at the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s Resources Sector Awards for Excellence.
Two projects demonstrated high standards of environmental excellence and were announced joint winners of the Golden Gecko award.
BHP Iron Ore was recognised for its formative research project, Chasing Ghosts: Understanding Ghost Bat ecology in the Pilbara, which helped identify evidence of the presence of the ghost bat in BHP’s Mining Area C, which started a collaborative project to understand and manage the ghost bat population.
The WA port authorities and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development were also rewarded for their world-first State Wide Array Surveillance Program (SWASP), which used molecular techniques with a collaborative marine biosecurity surveillance network to more rapidly respond to a potential incursion of an introduced marine pest.
The Safety and Health Engineering award went to Roy Hill Holdings for its lightning protection stenos which protects staff who are moving around the facility during lightning red alerts. Rio Tinto Iron Ore was rewarded for its effective and practical solution to emergency response reduction by being awarded the Systems and People Award.
And the Community Partnership Resources Sector Award went to BHP for its partnership with Foodbank WA with the Healthy Food for All — Pilbara Regional Strategy. This strategy helped with the region’s school breakfast program, fostering a cohesive partisanship between students, parents and educators in a social setting to meet children’s nutritional needs, and general physical and mental health.
DMIRS director-general David Smith said the winners were a credit to WA’s nationally significant industry.
“Our State continues to be at the forefront of social, safety and environmental outcomes in the resources sector and sharing these great projects is an important part of continuing that trend,” Mr Smith said.
“Western Australians want the State’s resources companies to be responsible. That means being aware of their duties in environmental stewardship, their need to work hand in hand with the communities in which they operate, and the importance of protecting employees from harm.”
BHP Iron Ore was the joint winner of the Golden Gecko award for its formative research project, Chasing Ghosts: Understanding Ghost Bat ecology in the Pilbara.