Historic mining partnership boosts protection for Australia's endangered mammals
December 2013: Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) and the Perth-based mining company, Top Iron Pty Ltd (Top Iron), have entered into a ground-breaking partnership that will boost protection for several of Australia’s most endangered mammals.
Dynamic new mining company Top Iron, which is developing an iron ore mine 4 hours north-west of Perth, will invest $1.375 million over the next 5 years in the implementation of the Mt Gibson Endangered Wildlife Restoration Project (Mt Gibson Project) by AWC.
The Mt Gibson project involves:
- The construction of a purpose-built 43 kilometre fence to establish the largest fox and cat-free area on mainland Western Australia (7,800 hectares).
- The reintroduction into this feral-free area of at least 9 of Australia’s most endangered mammals including Bilbies, Numbats, Woylies and Western Barred Bandicoots.
“This partnership sets a new benchmark for the mining industry in terms of re-investing the benefits of the mining boom in on-ground conservation,” said AWC Chief Executive, Atticus Fleming.
“Top Iron have a deep commitment to the environment, investing more than three times the amount required by the WA EPA as a biodiversity offset.”
“Endangered mammals such as the Numbat and the Woylie have suffered massive population declines in the last decade. This investment by Top Iron will help AWC reverse these declines, delivering a measurable increase in the population of at least 9 endangered species.”
Top Iron Managing Director, Bruce Richardson, believes that collaboration between the mining industry and the conservation sector can only lead to positive and long lasting sustainable development for future generations of Australians.
“Both parties are committed to generating the best possible economic and ecological returns. It is good news for shareholders, for the community and for the Numbats, Bilbies and other species to be reintroduced,” said Mr Richardson.
AWC paid tribute to Top Iron’s majority shareholder representative, Mr. Xiaonian Wu, whose support for the Mt Gibson Project is a leading example of foreign investment helping to protect and restore Australia’s threatened natural wildlife.
- Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world.
- One in 4 Australian mammals is threatened with extinction. Feral cats kill an estimated 75 million native animals every night across Australia.
- The total cost of the Mt Gibson Project is $5.3 million over 5 years.
- No other project in Australia has ever increased the population of 9 endangered mammals.