Cheetham Salt is a responsible land manager of over 20,000 ha of often very unique and sensitive land including internationally recognised coastal wetlands. Solar salt ponds attract large numbers of birds and animals. Once established they form an important feeding and roosting area for migratory birds. The ponds themselves are teeming with aquatic life and demonstrate a variety of ecosystems functioning at different salinities.
Cheetham Salt has been active in the control of salinity in Australia for over the past 20 years. Cheetham understands the impact of salinity and has worked extensively with environment protection agencies and key specialists to develop processes to recover the salt in some waste streams. By doing this, Cheetham Salt will reduce the amount of salt being sent to land fills or discharged to waterways.
To optimise the environmental performance Cheetham Salt has expanded its comprehensive management systems to include the requirements set out in ISO 14001. Committed to improving the environmental management of our business, we believe that responsible practices is vital to long term growth to not only meet our customers’ need but also of generations to come.
Cheetham Salt is constantly reviewing our operations to reduce energy use in the business. As the largest domestic supplier of value added solar salt in Australia, Cheetham produces salt using the sun to evaporate water rather than relying on energy intensive machinery.
Cheetham Salt continues to look for opportunities to reduce our water usage and reducing potable water use has been the focus for most sites. All sites are now monitoring and tracking their water consumption. Many have formal water management plans that have been lodged with local/state authorities. Some of the initiatives being used or investigated are: the collection, treatment and use/reuse of rainwater, storm water run-off and boiler blowdown.
Cheetham Salt is committed to minimizing the impact our business has on the environment with methods that are socially responsible, scientifically based and economically sound. We continue to reduce waste through improved recycling systems in all our manufacturing sites by diverting as much waste as possible into recycling streams.
This aerial picture is of the salt production ponds at the Sea Lake facility in Victoria. The pink colour of the ponds is result of Halophiles that are microorganisms which require high salt concentrations to grow.
Flora and Fauna:
Salt fields provide important ecosystems for a variety of flora and fauna. A number of the Cheetham sites contain birds or plants of State, National or International significance. At the Bajool site in Queensland, there is a population of the Capricorn Yellow Chat which is listed as Critically Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Work being supported by the site has shown that the local population of these birds is larger than originally thought. The Price site in South Australia is listed as a site of International Significance for Shorebirds.
Licences to Operate:
Each of our sites has an environmental licence to operate. These are issued by the Department responsible for the environmental protection of the states in which Cheetham Salt operates. Cheetham Salt is vigilant of its obligations contained within each of the Environmental licences and complies with the licences.