News - 22 June 2023

Alcoa’s Dwellingup mining exclusion zone nothing more than greenwashing

Jarrah forest. Image: Patrick Gardner.

Mining company Alcoa yesterday announced an 8,344 hectare exclusion zone around Dwellingup that would see the region’s ancient jarrah forests and wildlife protected from future mining interests. While this is welcome assurance for the region, unfortunately it appears the region was not earmarked for mining to begin with and the announcement is simply another case of corporate greenwashing.

Maps detailing Alcoa’s planned bauxite mining expansions over the next 10-15 years show no overlap with the announced mining avoidance area.

Tim Clifford, Campaigns Manager for Wilderness Society Western Australia, said, “The announcement by Alcoa that they will implement an exclusion zone of over 8,000 hectares around Dwellingup is a welcome reprieve for the extraordinary forests in the region from future mining interests. But make no mistake, Alcoa had no imminent plans to mine in this area. In fact, they had no intention of even considering mining in this area for at least a decade.

“Alcoa has a lot to answer for when it comes to the impact they have had on Western Australia’s ancient jarrah forests, and as such it’s difficult to see this announcement as much more than an attempt at greenwashing. Their social license is already on shaky ground with communities across Western Australia voicing their concerns over water, wildlife and forest protection. Repackaging inaction as environmental conservation is simply not enough.”

For interviews with Tim Clifford, WA campaigns manager for The Wilderness Society, contact Rhiannon Cunningham, media adviser, on 0419992760 or [email protected]