New mine rehabilitation approaches explored
According to government, industry and academic speakers at the Tom Farrell Institute’s annual Mine Rehabilitation Conference that was held in Singleton recently, new and innovative approaches to mine rehabilitation are improving topsoil and rehabilitation results in the Hunter Valley.
More than 150 miners, environmental professionals, government representatives, scientists and community members gathered to share recent research findings, policy updates and discuss best practice approaches to rehabilitation. Tasman Willis from Glencore showed how software was being used to design rehabilitation landforms to fit with the natural landscape of the area at the company’s Mangoola mine near Muswellbrook.
Bill Baxter shared Coal & Allied’s recent experiences improving topsoils by employing tried and true farming methods in their native vegetation rehabilitation areas. And Dr Peter Erskine from the University of Queensland presented his view that returning mined land to native plant communities is idealistic rather than practical.
The NSW Government provided updates on evolving policies and practices to improve post-mining outcomes, including the new biodiversity offsetting policy, new rules for crediting rehabilitation as an offset and a new framework of performance indicators for rehabilitation generally that will drive improved mine closure outcomes.