Wesfarmers Resources is a significant Australian open-cut miner and a leading metallurgical coal producer and exporter and supplier of thermal coal for domestic power generation. We operate the Curragh open cut coal mine near Blackwater in Queensland’s Bowen Basin and have a 40 per cent interest in the Bengalla mine in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. We employ 659 people and our revenue this year was $1.5 billion.
This year the total recordable injury frequency rate was reduced from 18.8 to 14.8, a decrease of 21 per cent. A new initiative at Curragh based on safety interactions between employees has empowered the workforce to take ownership for site safety performance. This process has been recognised as a valuable concept to enable Curragh to reach its ultimate goal of an injury free workplace.
In June 2011, Curragh commenced a consultation process with the traditional owners of the land. In November 2012, we signed a Queensland government-approved Cultural Heritage Management Plan which provides management measures and defines responsibilities to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage, for sites such as the scar tree pictured.
Conserving the biodiversity within the mining lease involves protecting natural habitats and addressing threats such as invasive species. Through greater fire management and weed control programs Curragh has been able to better protect five Endangered Regional Ecosystems through a Consolidated Environmental Management Plan.
Solar energy has been adopted in two projects at Curragh as part of an ongoing drive to make the site more energy efficient. The new waste transfer facility uses solar generated electricity to power lighting and all electrical components of the facility. The water recycling project for the new Coal Handling Preparation Plant also uses solar energy to provide lighting and maintain starting capacity for a diesel powered pump.
Following the flooding in central Queensland caused by Cyclone Oswald, we established the Curragh Flood Recovery Fund to support community and not-for-profit organisations in the Rockhampton region. Twelve organisations affected by the flood received grants of up to $2,500 each.
During the year, the Resources division established a new partnership with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME). The partnership will see the AIME program, which improves the chances of Indigenous children finishing high school, delivered to around 100 Indigenous high school students at Central Queensland University.
Improved monitoring means we are now able to capture data about the use of reclaimed water at our Curragh site (4,639 megalitres this year). For more information, see the Our environment section of this website.
More information on sustainability at Wesfarmers Resources is available at www.wesresources.com.au/sustainability.