Restoration & Biodiversity
The locations of our mining operations are determined by geology. On those sites, we strive to protect biodiversity as we carry out our activities. Our mining sites and quarries are restored as operations progress, often contributing to the conservation of fauna and flora species.
Our mining and processing operations use land and natural resources. This can affect biodiversity and ecosystems throughout the lifecycle of our quarries. We ensure our mining activities are compatible with biodiversity conservation through relevant planning and restoration.
Our “Post-Mining Rehabilitation” protocol requires operations to prepare their quarries’ future and describes the restoration methods that will be applied during the site’s operating life and when it closes.
Our strategy consists of building our knowledge and understanding of the environment and, in sensitive zones, encouraging the development of biodiversity management plans. Approximately 15% of the Group’s operations are located on or near zones recognized for their interest in terms of biodiversity. In 2012, with the aim of preparing a guidance document for biodiversity management plans, in-depth analyses were conducted on five pilot sites, i.e. 10% of Imerys’ biodiversity-sensitive operations. The sites were selected for the quality of their approach, and this enabled the Group to identify best practices and key stages in an effective biodiversity management plan. Work will continue in 2013, and the approach will be extended to 12% of Imerys’ sensitive operations.
Additional work in 2012 focused on the definition of two new indicators for land use, with the aim of quantifying the surfaces disturbed by the Group’s mining activities, as well as restored surfaces. These indicators were set up on a pilot activity in France (clay roof tile production) representing 24 quarries in France. As of December 31, 2012, 216 hectares were disturbed by the division’s mining activities. Restored surfaces covered 95 hectares. These new indicators will be gradually extended across the Group and will enable Imerys to report on its efforts to minimize environmental impact of its activities.
|2012 Objectives||2012 Performances|
Our quarries, especially their end-of-life restoration, offer many opportunities to enrich biodiversity by reviving natural areas or helping to conserve endangered animal or plant species. Several examples of positive contributions to ecosystems on our sites demonstrate this phenomenon. Most of these examples result from partnerships with local environmental associations or NGOs.
United Kingdom – A Vision for our Former Mining Sites
Imerys Minerals Ltd, with its Eco-Bos Eco-Community project, wishes to reinvigorate the mid-Cornwall clay area. The plan is to create a series of exemplar, highly sustainable communities on 700 ha of Imerys-owned industrial land that is no longer required for operational purposes. Read more
France – Compensatory Afforestation
Imerys Terre Cuite, concerned with the preservation of the environment, sets the example by implementing sustainable initiatives. The afforestation of the Sereines mining site invites nature to claim its rights. Read more
Malaysia – Integrating Restoration in Quarry Operating Plans
The 54-hectare project, launched in 2006, was designed to restore the balance of flora and fauna and should go on for another 8 years. Remediation will take place in several stages, the biggest being reforestation. Read more
United Kingdom – Restoration of Kaolin Quarries
The woodland project was a post-mining restoration project. It aimed to restore the landscape of the china clay area in Cornwall. It followed on from the Heathland Project. From 1997 to 2004, 750 hectares of lowland heath land – another endangered habitat - was restored on former mining sites. Together, the two projects formed the biggest initiative of their kind in Europe. Read more
United Kingdom – An experimental plantation
Imerys Minerals Ltd (United Kingdom) is assessing the development potential of planting Araucaria araucana – a rare species on the IUCN red list – in former kaolin quarries. Read more
Germany – A former Calderys clay pit in Weitefeld in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, has been successfully returned to nature
After Calderys closed the pit in the 90s environmental associations noticed that rare, endangered flora and fauna had developed at the site due to the water puddles formed by the mining activity, the stakeholders decided to turn the site into a protected land. Read more
Australia – Developing a Biorich Demonstration site at Lal Lal (Australia), an Imerys mining site
Developed in cooperation with Ballarat Region Treegrowers, the project covers 10 hectares of marshy land around the Imerys Minerals Australia mine. Read more
"Montpothier" quarry (Aube), France — Enhancing biodiversity as part of the rehabilitation of the Montpothier site.
"La Verrerie" quarry (Indre), France — Creation of a replacement pond to protect an environment of high ecological value. Read more
"Touvérac" quarry (Charente), France — Creation of an environment rich in protected flora and fauna: Sweet gale, European pond terrapin, etc... Read more
"Devant-le-Bard" quarry (Charente-Maritime) and "Vallée de Guizengeard" quarry (Charente), France — Creation of an environment to foster biodiversity: the European bee-eater. Read more
"Jard" quarry (Charente-Maritime), France — Study of colonizing species and compensatory measures. Read more
"Ménez Du" quarry (Finistère), France — Study and maintenance of a plot in order to contribute to better knowledge of a mesophilic environment. Read more