Since the late 1950s, approximately 36,000 hectares of native forest near Weipa in northern Australia have been cleared and burned to make way for bauxite mining. This mining practice is expected to continue in the region for many decades to come.
Estimating the climate impact of forest clearing events is a complex process. Cleared areas may be rehabilitated, and sometimes these areas are cleared again.
A team from the University of the Sunshine Coast and the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative has used FLINTpro to derive temporally and spatially explicit estimates of historic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to forest clearing and burning. They also estimated the amount of CO2 removed from the atmosphere by storing carbon in mine rehabilitation. In addition, the research team used FLINTpro to simulate the climate impacts of alternative management scenarios, as comparison to the historic practices.
The case study demonstrates how mining companies can use FLINTpro to plan and monitor their pathway towards achieving net-zero emissions in an effective and efficient manner.