Rio Tinto partners with nonprofit to support habitat restoration

Yandicoogina, the Pilbara, Western Australia. Image from Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto has announced Tuesday it is partnering with RESOLVE, a Washington-based nonprofit, to launch Regeneration, a start-up that will use the re-mining and processing of waste from legacy mine sites to support rehabilitation activities and restore natural environments.

Regeneration will extract valuable minerals and metals from mine tailings, waste rock and water. Earnings from the sale of these responsibly-sourced materials will be reinvested to help fund habitat restoration and closure activities, including at legacy and former mine sites, Rio said in the media statement. Regeneration will also seek to create and trade biodiversity and carbon credits through the rehabilitation of land and the generation of environmental offsets.

The world’s second-largest miner has entered into a memorandum of understanding with RESOLVE to make an equity investment of $2 million in Regeneration and will also analyse its portfolio to identify potential opportunities for the first Regeneration project. The start-up has formed a founding board of directors and site review and selection is about to commence.

Regeneration will look to offer additional partnership, investment, and site-based opportunities for ethical investment companies and philanthropists, mining companies, mining and environmental professionals, downstream manufacturers and brands, technology innovators, governments, and communities.

“Regeneration aims to turn ores and waste from previously mined areas into positive outcomes both economically and environmentally,” said Rio’s global head of closure, Peter Harvey.

“It is an innovative and collaborative new vehicle to help effectively restore legacy mine sites and meet our closure commitments.”