Bell, D.T. and R.J. Hobbs (eds.)
The native jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest ecosystem of the Darling Range of southwestern Western Australia provides the people of the state with a source of timber, its major source of potable water, sites for recreation and leisure activity, and a number of mineral resources. Alcoa World Alumina Australia (Alcoa) under agreement with the State of Western Australia mines bauxite. The commercial potential of the alumina-rich laterites of the Darling Plateau was established in 1957, and by 1963, the company had developed a small, integrated bauxite mining and alumina refining operation, which has grown more or less continuously. In Western Australia, Alcoa operates two mines and three refineries, which produce about 13% of the world’s annual alumina production, currently employs a staff of 4,000, and provides a return of more than $1 billion per annum to the economy of the state. The operation presently clears, mines, and restores approximately 550 ha of native forest each year. Early post-mining activity in the late 1960s involved little more than land stabilization; however, the overall aim of the today’s restoration is to reestablish a stable forest ecosystem capable of sustaining all the premining elements of the native jarrah forest ecosystem.