Glencore is a significant land manager, owning over 500,000 hectares of land and leasing over 1.7 million around the world.
Rehabilitation and closure management
We require each individual asset to have a closure plan to ensure a responsible exit. This plan must be continuously maintained, including appropriate financial provisions. Our assets develop their closure plans in collaboration with their local communities and ensure that they monitor the societal risks and opportunities associated with closure.
Rehabilitation at mining sites
In addition, our mining assets continually rehabilitate the areas they disturb, ensuring that the land is restored to a state that is suitable for the final land use agreed in the original mining permit. Each asset creates a comprehensive management plan before operations begin, which identifies each year’s success factors and ensures they can be measured and monitored regularly.
We generally try to use the topsoil removed at each site immediately; when this is not possible, we store it for future reuse. We keep records of what each area looked like before we disturbed it, to restore topographical features where possible. Where appropriate we identify threats to local biodiversity and help protect affected species. We engage with local communities to identify appropriate post-mining land uses and try to make them possible.
Our agricultural assets make continual efforts to minimise their environmental impact and maintain the long-term productivity of our arable land. They consult the best available agronomic consultants, using precision farming methods that include no-till farming, controlled traffic farming and variable rate technology. Other practices, such as windrow burning, are used to decrease reliance on insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and similar products.
New agricultural technology
In addition to continually refining our existing technologies, in 2016 our Australian assets will increase the percentage of new crop varieties, which give a bigger yield, in their crop mix, as well as trialling some new varieties. Our Southern Australian farms are increasing the proportion of legumes in their crop rotations, as these naturally create nitrogen in the soil, reducing the nitrogen fertiliser required. We are also planning to roll out variable rate technology to our fertilisation methods, having seen good results in trials during 2015.
Our assets incorporate biodiversity considerations into their environmental impact assessments, along with any risks that our impact on biodiversity may have for local communities. If significant biodiversity impacts cannot be avoided or mitigated, offsetting measures are applied.