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Legends from the mine
Legends from the mine
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Mining rehabilitation

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Mining rehabilitation

  1. 1. Tel: (07) 3316 2531 Fax: (07)3295 9570 www.oresomeresources.com Coal Mine site Rehabilitation
  2. 2. Rehabilitation of the Ensham open-cut coal mine near Emerald in Central Queensland. Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  3. 3. Before mining Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  4. 4. After mining Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  5. 5. After rehabilitation The purpose of rehabilitation is to return the site to an agreed land use after mining. This is a legal requirement of the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority). Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  6. 6. Open cut coal mining „Spoil‟ is the overburden removed to reveal the coal seam. Previous spoil is piled behind the pit. In this way, the pit advances, progressively filled with new spoil. Rehabilitation will ultimately occur over the previous spoil behind the mine. Direction of advance of the pit Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  7. 7. The Ensham Mine The pit at the Ensham mine is progressing to the right in the picture. Removal of surface overburden is in progress on the highwall side (right) and is dumped on the spoil pile (left) to fill the pit. Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  8. 8. Rehabilitation planning An aerial view of the mine shows the plan for rehabilitation, with the areas to be rehabilitated in green. Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  9. 9. An Environmental Impact Study (EIS) is conducted to assess the flora and fauna that exists prior to mining. An Environmental Authority (EA) is then issued with the mining lease to regulate how the mining company is to interact with the environment. The rehabilitation requirements are different for every mine. The mine proposes a rehabilitation plan and the government then adds its own conditions prior to approval. Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  10. 10. This map highlights areas of “Endangered”, “Of concern” and “Not of concern” ecosystems within and surrounding the mine site. Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  11. 11. This map depicts broad types of vegetation within and surrounding the mine site. The EA includes the rehabilitation requirements that must be achieved in ground coverage and species diversity. Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  12. 12. Before mining Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  13. 13. After mining Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  14. 14. Rehabilitation Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  15. 15. Restored land Image courtesy of Ensham Resources
  16. 16. Queensland Resources Council acknowledges Ensham Resources for their assistance with this presentation and supply of images.
  17. 17. Tel: (07) 3316 2531 Fax: (07)3295 9570 www.oresomeresources.com Rehabilitation on North Stradbroke Island
  18. 18. What is Rehabilitation? Rehabilitation is the process of restoring land after mining. CRL restores, on average, 75 hectares of their leases on North Stradbroke Island each year and has progressively rehabilitated Stages of Rehabilitation on North more than 4 000 hectares Stradbroke Island of land since 1966.
  19. 19. Pre-mine Surveys Pre-mine surveys are very important for future rehabilitation of mine sites. Data collected from flora and fauna surveys can pinpoint the presence of rare, threatened or endangered wildlife and plant species in the mine area. Significant species which occur in the mine path must be re-established in the area after mining. Plant species which do not re-establish naturally or from seed are grown Pre-mine survey undertaken at Yarraman in 1996. at the plant nursery.
  20. 20. Pre-rehabilitation Planning Environmental officers use satellite imagery, aerial photography, ecological surveys and local knowledge to accurately develop complete vegetation profiles of mine sites. This enables environmental officers to select the correct seed mixes and plant species for post mine rehabilitation. Amity Air Photo 1996
  21. 21. The Rehabilitation Process
  22. 22. Step One – Reprofiling of Sand Dunes are progressively reconstructed by re-contouring the cleaned sand to resemble as near as practicable the original dune‟s shape. Restoring the island‟s high dunes, (often over 130 metres above sea level), is a complex engineering process. Cyclone stackers are used to rebuild the dunes.
  23. 23. Step Two – Topsoil Spreading Topsoil is stockpiled and stored on a short-term basis adjacent to the mine path. Dump Trucks replace the topsoil once the sand dunes have been rebuilt. Where possible, topsoil is removed from in front of the mine path (not stored to the side) and replaced directly onto rehabilitation areas. This Freshly sown and stabilised topsoil on a gives a much better and more revegetated site. vigorous rehabilitation result.
  24. 24. Step Three – Direct Seeding More than 30 species of native seeds are sown together with a temporary crop cover of sorghum into the replaced topsoil. Special fertilisers are also added to replace the nutrients lost in the stored soil. Native seeds are harvested from lease areas on the island and propagated in the nursery.
  25. 25. Seed Harvesting Roughly 250 kilograms of seed is harvested each year by CRL employees. Seed harvesting occurs on the island, from lease areas. Many different methods are used to collect and treat the seeds, including the use of fire. Various methods of seed collection at the CRL nursery.
  26. 26. The Nursery Plant nursery production has increased from 50 000 seedlings in 1996 to now over145 000 plants. CRL plants the majority of their nursery stock into 1 to 3 year old rehabilitation. The plant nursery at CRL.
  27. 27. Step Four – Application of Sand Stabilizer The sand stabiliser used by CRL is a by-product created from the petroleum industry (essentially a biodegradable bitumen). It is called Terolas. Other stabilising methods used by CRL include placing wind fencing, using mulch and laying brush matting on exposed areas to control erosion while vegetation The spraying of terrolas on topsoil. regenerates.
  28. 28. Step Five – Nursery Stock Plantouts Native seedlings from CRL‟s own plant nursery are used to supplement natural regrowth.
  29. 29. Step Six – Grass Tree Transplants Slow growing Grasstrees (Xanthorrhoea johnsonii) are transplanted into the established rehabilitation areas. Each year up to ten mature trees are planted per hectare in addition to 25,000 seeds per hectare. CRL Grasstree nursery on North Stradbroke Island
  30. 30. Step Seven – Maintenance Log piles, bird perches and nesting boxes are installed to encourage fauna to return to the rehabilitated areas. Logs and bird roosts on Ibis Rehabilitation Squirrel Glider
  31. 31. Step Eight - Monitoring Post mining surveys monitor the development and quality of the rehabilitation. These surveys provide valuable data on landform similarity, water quality and level, erosion, vegetation development and fauna recolonisation.
  32. 32. Ibis Rehabilitation Ibis 2002
  33. 33. Rehabilitation at Amity Amity Void 1999 Amity Void Rehab 2007
  34. 34. Annual Environmental Reports Each year, CRL publishes an Environmental Report that provides an overview on environmental management and rehabilitation of mine sites. Click here for the latest CRL Environmental Report
  35. 35. Acknowledgements Queensland Resources Council wishes to acknowledge Consolidated Rutile Limited for their assistance in the preparation of this presentation.

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