Mining companies understand land rehabilitation is fundamental to responsible mining. It is a critical factor for ongoing community acceptance and a key indicator for corporate reporting.
Planning for rehabilitation takes place long before mining commences. Rehabilitation is undertaken progressively during the life of a mine wherever practical.
Rehabilitation is central to the business of mining. Planning for rehabilitation takes place long before mining commences and is continually reviewed throughout the life of a mine. Rehabilitation occurs not only at the end of mining operation, but is undertaken progressively during the life of a mine wherever practical.
Newmont took ownership of the decommissioned Woodcutters lead-zinc mine in the Northern Territory as part of its 2002 acquisition of Normandy. Newmont has continued decommissioning, rehabilitation and monitoring activities at the site in partnership with the area’s Traditional Owners, the Kungarakan and Warai people.
Work is guided by the Woodcutters Agreement which details local employment, training and stakeholder commitments and Newmont’s aim is to return the land to Traditional Owners when agreed closure criteria and objectives are met.
See more case studies in our publication - Mine rehabilitation in the Australian minerals industry 25 Feb 2016.PDF
The standard model of the mining life cycle is discover – develop – operate – close – rehabilitate.
Like many other mining companies, MMG in the lead up to the closure of Century Mine in August 2015 increased its focus on closure and site rehabilitation. However, given the lack of economic opportunities in the Lower Gulf MMG considered it was critical to look at how those opportunities could be transformed into ongoing economic activity.
MMG realised that there was an opportunity to generate ongoing benefits based on the residual mineralised material, including tailings, significant infrastructure and skilled workforce available. This was further supported by its desire to ensure the region and state continued to benefit from the project.
Together with a dedicated rehabilitation specialist, Regen and the Waanyi people, the Waanyi-Regen joint venture was created to maximise Indigenous participation in rehabilitation activities.
After an expression of interest process, in February 2017, MMG announced that it had entered into agreements with Century Mine Rehabilitation Project Pty Ltd (now known as New Century Resources), to transfer ownership of Century zinc mine in North West Queensland.
As part of the transaction, MMG procured the provision, by the Bank of China, of $193.7m in bank guarantees for financial assurance obligations with the Queensland Government; provided an additional $34.5m over three years to support existing obligations around site upkeep and environmental maintenance and monitoring, and established a special purpose trust of $12.1m to support New Century in meeting existing obligations contained in the Gulf Communities Agreement (GCA) and agreed community projects for the benefit of Lower Gulf communities.
Since the transfer of the asset, New Century Resources has successfully restarted operations at Century with the commencement of tailings re-treatment and zinc concentrate production.
New Century Resources aims to extract value from the existing mine waste and make use of the high-quality infrastructure. It is estimated that tailings reprocessing will be carried out over a period of six years, with the potential to increase the mine’s operations further through a targeted exploration program across the tenement.
New Century Resources will continue to reprocess zinc tailings and rehabilitate the site. Remediation works are underway with the intention of achieving an economic return, generating renewed employment, training and business opportunities for Century and the surrounding communities of the Lower Gulf.
Additionally, there is employment and business opportunities directly linked to the operation; the Waanyi-Regen joint venture continues to provide rehabilitation support and there is renewed investment in the region. The trust created by MMG continues to fund GCA obligations and social development projects.
Century has and will continue to remain a vital asset to the region – continuing to generate employment and training opportunities and other ongoing benefits to the communities and businesses of the Lower Gulf and for the State of Queensland.
Peabody has progressed rehabilitation of its Wilkie Creek site in Queensland’s Surat Basin following the completion of coal mining in 2013 with over 60% of rehabilitation now complete. This includes backfilling of open cut voids, re-shaping of dumps and undergoing demolition and associated works. Included within the final landform planning process are paddocks and cattle watering systems to support the end land use of grazing.
Extensive community engagement continues to inform the planning for post-mine land use with grazing trials, including more than 50 cattle on a rehabilitated backfilled pit, delivering positive results for neighbouring graziers.
Read more here: Peabody Australia - Land Rehabilitation. pfd
Pictured below, Wilkie Creek Mine, 2007, 2008 and 2016.