Gothic Landscape: Erasing the Mining Footprint
Mine reclamation is one of the most critical elements of mining. Done right, it can provide a wealth of opportunities for the environment and surrounding communities.
For more than 30 years, Gothic Landscape has built a solid reputation for creating some of the most beautiful restoration landscape projects in the mining industry. The company, which specializes in erasing the mining footprint through its environmental restoration division, and in desert salvage and restoration, has been a focal part of helping companies performs mine reclamation projects around the United States.
Through its eco-friendly initiatives, key partnerships in the industry, and family-oriented culture, Gothic Landscaping is taking the mining industry by storm.
All in the family
Since the company’s inception in 1984, Gothic Landscape has remained a family-owned and operated company based in Los Angeles, California. Founded by Judy and Louis Georgio, the company’s name derives from Gothic Avenue in the San Fernando Valley where the Georgio family lived when the company was first got its start.
Today, the company operates in four US states (California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah) and has become one of the leading landscape contracting firms in the mining industry. Gothic provides a range of landscape services including commercial design, production/infrastructure, custom and model homes, public works, erosion control and mining restoration.
The company, which is still run by the Georgio family with sons Jon (President/CEO) and Ron (President – Gothic grounds Management), is continuing its legacy of being a family-oriented business. Gothic has extended its family culture to include thousands of dedicated landscape professionals who are committed to quality, safety and respect for the environment.
Erasing the mining footprint
Gothic’s commitment to going green is irrefutable. The company is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint by conducting business in the most environmentally responsible method. Gothic’s testament to sustainable initiatives includes restoring, preserving and improving the environment through a range of landscape construction service.
Gothic has been a prominent figure in the mining industry. The company has made key partnerships with companies in the sector, helping to perform a range of landscape activities including mine reclamation, pollution prevention plans and water conservation initiatives.
Slowly but surely, Gothic Landscape have been implementing a range of environmental-friendly initiatives in place to curb its carbon footprint.
In 2011, the company commenced plans to convert its management vehicles to fuel-efficient cars. The strategy, which aims to drastically lower fuel consumption, is expected to be integrated company-wide by the end of 2014. The company is also introducing a fleet of propane mowers to its arsenal in a bid to gradually replace the gas-powered mowers that dominate the industry.
Gothic has also begun taking steps towards its water conservation initiatives, which are designed to reduce water dependence. The company’s Gothic Grounds Management division has changed its method to irrigation management. The renewed approach includes: customized reporting with forecasted schedules, water usage by station and monthly reports; comprehensive water audits; and implementing certified irrigation technicians with knowledge and expertise in all irrigation control systems.
The company’s key division in the mining sector is its environmental restoration line. It’s become their specialty, helping the industry replicate surrounding native landscapes through strategic planting and soil grading. The company’s ability to create a healthy ecological balance for mine site reclamation has put Gothic Landscape on the map as the go-to landscaping contractor for the mining industry.
Keeping lasting relationships
As a member of the Nevada Mining Association, Gothic Landscape works in partnerships with some of the largest mining company in the United States. The company also partners with industry leaders to offer the newest, state-of-the-art irrigation technology available.
Gothic’s vision remains much the same as it was in 1984. The company wants to create lasting partnerships with clients by ensuring mutual success through outstanding personalized service and problem solving. As it did when the company first began, Gothic’s passion, focus and commitment remains stronger than ever.
Mining Profile: Mike Henry, CEO, BHP
Mike Henry has over 30 years’ experience in the resources industry, working across the globe in Australia, Asia, North America, and Europe; he joined BHP in 2003. A member of the executive leadership team since 2011, Henry has held roles spanning operational, commercial, and technical.
Mike Henry graduated from the University of British Colombia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. He began his career in the resources industry working for Japanese tech giant Mitsubishi. Henry’s first contact with BHP came in Australia in 1999 when he helped set up the company’s coal joint venture, the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA). By 2001, Henry had risen to Vice President of Business Development for the BMA before joining BHP’s energy coal business full time.
During his time at BHP prior roles have included President HSE, Marketing & Technology 2013-14 and President of the company’s coal business from 2015-16. Prior to succeeding Andrew McKenzie as CEO in January 2020, Henry served as President for Operations, Minerals Australia focusing on iron ore, copper, coal and nickel. Henry led 40,000 people across six assets, with revenues of $29bn, EBITDA of $16bn and a capital spend of $3bn
Under Henry’s leadership, BHP’s Minerals Australia business reduced the frequency of high potential injuries by 60% and, for the first time, became the world’s lowest-cost major iron ore producer.
Mike Henry’s exposure to the company’s global marketing efforts between 2010 and 2015 saw him earmarked for the top job at BHP, developing crucial relationships with the mining giant’s customers in China and Japan.
“His operational experience, his commercial experience, his strategic skill, his global experience … that makes him a great candidate to be the next CEO of BHP,” said outgoing CEO Andrew MacKenzie of Henry’s appointment to the role last year.
Inclusion & Diversity
Growing up in a biracial family with a mother of Japanese heritage who worked as a nurse in emergency services, Henry witnessed and experienced both ends of the inclusion spectrum.
“[Inclusion & Diversity] is quite personal for me.. I am absolutely convinced that having an inclusive culture and diverse workforce is mission critical for BHP,” he says. “Inclusive, diverse teams perform better – because they promote safety, productivity and wellbeing. Getting this right will be a serious competitive advantage for BHP. It will help us secure and motivate the best people, we’ll be more creative, and we’ll make better decisions.”
Henry spent the first half of his career in an environment where he was not from the mainstream, but where people went the extra mile to ensure he felt wholly included. “Without exception, it’s been in high-inclusion environments that I’ve thrived,” he recalls. “Where I’ve felt most fulfilled as a person. When I’ve been most committed and motivated, and where I’ve made my most significant contribution. On the rare occasion when I’ve been in an environment I experienced as less inclusive, I haven’t been at my best – a lost opportunity for both me and those around me. I have two adult daughters and my aspiration for them is that they are able to realise their dreams and potential, unconstrained by gender, or race. I need to demonstrate the values and leadership that reflect where I’ve come from and the world that I hope for and believe is possible.”
Having lead teams globally, across cultures and disciplines, Henry’s experience has been that the teams that have unlocked exceptional outcomes have been those that are highly inclusive. “There’s been an excitement and enthusiasm in those teams that sees people challenge themselves, reach higher, and be more creative,” he notes.
“Those teams are the ones that everyone wants to be part of, and the ones that truly innovate and push the organisation to new frontiers. Being part of those teams and leading them has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my career. I am passionate about seeing people stretch themselves, learn that they’re capable of more than they perhaps thought and experience the joy of realising great outcomes.”
What does the future hold? "BHP is a company that is steeped in history,” said Henry on his appointment last year. “The one constant for the whole of BHP’s 153-year history had been great people. If you’ve got the right people you can do amazing things."