Former CQ mine site boasts a rich, revived landscape
One of Central Queensland’s former open cut mines has received government sign-off on 133ha of rehabilitated mine land.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said areas of Glencore’s Oaky Creek coal mine had been transformed into natural and productive land thanks to the impressive rehabilitation program.
“Up to 133 hectares of land that was once part of an open cut mine is now verdant landscape with native vegetation and is on track to being safely and sustainably passed on for the next land use,” Mr Stewart said.
In 2018, the Palaszczuk Government passed mining rehabilitation legislation to ensure land no longer used for mining was returned to its original state, or better.
Since the closure of open cut operations in 2006 and after more than 20 years in action, Glencore has focused on backfilling open cut voids and revegetating with native species.
Glencore’s general manager of environment and community, John Watson, said the recent certification covered two areas on the site that supported native vegetation and had potential for cattle grazing.
“This is the fifth successful certification application in the past three years by a Glencore site in Queensland and the seventh across Glencore’s Australian coal business,” Mr Watson said.
“Achieving government sign-off on these areas of rehabilitation is reward for many, many hours invested by our workforce in returning mined land to the agreed post-mining purposes.”
Located 90km northwest of Emerald in the heart of Queensland‘s Bowen Basin, Oaky Creek coal mine produces high quality steelmaking metallurgical coal for export, with six million tonnes produced in 2020.
Glencore has a total of 692ha of certified rehabilitated land across its Queensland sites, with total rehabilitation (not certified) covering 10,375ha, equivalent to 17,000 football fields.
Mr Stewart said with advances in modern regulatory framework, mine rehabilitation was a key component of company policies and the life of mine planning cycle.
“We know resource developments bring significant benefits to regional communities and Queensland,” Mr Stewart said.
“These advances in rehabilitation ultimately provide certainty for business, industry and ongoing benefits for local communities.”
The Palaszczuk Government introduced mine rehabilitation regulations and improved financial assurance outcomes for the state’s resources sector with the passing of the Mineral and Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) Act 2018.
“It is great to see companies like Glencore take on their rehabilitation responsibility with real enthusiasm and produce impressive results,” Mr Stewart said.
“These rehabilitation programs help create more jobs for Queenslanders well after a mine is no longer in use.”