QAL general manager Pine Pienaar said QAL’s Environmental Improvement Plan would focus on five key areas.
QAL general manager Pine Pienaar said QAL’s Environmental Improvement Plan would focus on five key areas.

$400m spend to reduce QAL's environmental impact

QAL is investing about $400 million to reduce its environmental impact.

The five-year Environmental Improvement Plan includes 55 projects which general manager Pine Pienaar said were prioritised according to levels of environmental risk.

Mr Pienaar said the spend was across five areas; noise, odour, culture, land and water and air quality.

This year, $90 million will be allocated to the plan.

An estimated $400 million will be spent over the next fours years to complete the projects.

This is despite an initial estimate of $260 million for the five-year plan.

"As the process advances and we understand more about the challenges for each project, the cost required has changed," Mr Pienaar said.

"Some have increased and some have decreased."

A transfer system between QAL and Boyne Smelter was upgraded as part of the plan.

"The project has reduced airborne dust from the process," Mr Pienaar said.

"We've also completed a large project at our tailings facility … to keep tailings and fresh water separated."

Reducing odour emissions is also a big focus.

"We are trialling new technology from around the world to reduce QAL's organic odours," he said.