The Huntly mine is located near Dwellingup and was established in early 1976. Huntly is the world’s largest bauxite mine, supplying bauxite ore to Pinjarra and Kwinana Refineries. Huntly bauxite production has doubled since 1990 and currently produces around 23 million tonnes of bauxite per year.
The Willowdale mine, established in 1984, is located east of Waroona and supplies bauxite ore to the Wagerup Refinery. The Willowdale mine produces about 10 million tonnes of bauxite a year.
The ore from Huntly and Willowdale is refined to produce about 10 million tonnes of alumina each year. This represents around 47% of Australia’s alumina production and 30% of aluminium production. Alumina production from Alcoa’s WA refineries accounts for 11% of total world demand.
For both the Huntly and Willowdale mines, rehabilitation is one of the most important parts of the mining process. Every year about 600 hectares of the mined areas are rehabilitated across the two sites, helping restore the jarrah forest ecosystem.
Alcoa commenced mining at Jarrahdale in 1963. The first mine pit was at the Jarrahdale site now known as Langford Park.
Ore mined from Jarrahdale was transported by rail to Alcoa’s Kwinana Alumina Refinery and in the first year of operation 48,750 tonnes of bauxite were mined and transported to Kwinana.
When mining ceased in 1998, it marked the closure of an important chapter in Australian mining history. Although the mining operations finished in 1998, rehabilitation carried on for another 3 years until 2001 when all mined areas, haul roads and building sites were completely rehabilitated.