BHP in a first for the mining industry has delivered a pilot case study on the application of natural capital accounting (NCA) principles in the mining sector.
NCA is a process of calculating the total stocks and flows natural resources and services in an ecosystem. It provides a means of a measuring the amount, condition, and value of environmental assets. NCA more accurately quantifies the effect anthropogenic activity has on the health of natural ecosystems.
To contextualise this, BHP has stewardship over 6.5 million hectares of land excluding greenfield exploration licence areas. The amount and quality of data that could be retrieved is unprecedented.
The data gathered at the Beenup site is crucial in informing rehabilitation, restoration, and mitigation environmental strategies. Interestingly, positive outcomes of rehabilitation that would usually not be accounted for were observed. Such as the newfound net gains in carbon storage and significant improvements in water quality in river systems that flow from the site through local pastoral operations and to communities downstream.
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