Mine Rehabilitation - Case Studies

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Australian mining companies understand land rehabilitation is part of responsible mining. We recognise our responsibility as a temporary custodian of land.  Mine rehabilitation is highly regulated, better implemented and more accountable than ever before.

The industry’s approach to land rehabilitation has improved significantly over past decades. We work to improve rehabilitation methods to ensure mining’s compatibility with current and future land uses such as farming.

Read more: Mine Rehabilitation, Closure Planning and Regulation - 2018

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. Read about our member companies rehabilitation successes. 

More case studies on land rehabilitation and wildlife are available on MCA's More to Mining website.


Anglo American

Anglo American has progressively rehabilitated its Dawson coal mine in Central Queensland including a 165-hectare pit originally used as a spoil dump and topsoil stockpile.

Mine rehabilitation on the pit started in 2012 with the aim of establishing the area for local farmers with a dam repurposed for livestock. Since then, cattle have grazed on the rehabilitated land and have shown strong weight gain.

Anglo American is committed to long-term rehabilitation to deliver safe and stable landform for post-mining uses.

The company rehabilitated more than 400 hectares of mined land in 2020 using industry-leading technology and data analytics at its open cut coal operations in Central Queensland, the equivalent of more than 740 football fields.

Read more about Anglo American’s rehabilitation of the Dawson coal mine here.


Yancoal Australia

Yancoal's WO5B open cut coal mine near Collie WA operated from the 1970s to 1996. Rehabilitation work began in the 1980s with plans changing over the years due to new legislation, extensions of the mine and weather events.

Yancoal was committed to the successful rehabilitation of the area and worked to shape the land and return it to a state that benefited both the environment and the community. As a result, in December 2020 Yancoal was proud to fully relinquish the land to the WA Government and open Lake Kepwari.

Lake Kepwari was created in close consultation with the State Government and the community to provide a 100 hectare aquatic attraction for locals and tourists to enjoy. Read the full story of how WO5B turned into Lake Kepwari here.


New Hope Group

New Hope’s industry leading environmental credentials have been formally ratified through Queensland Government certification of 349 hectares of progressively rehabilitated mined land at its New Acland coal mine operations on the Darling Downs.

New Hope has been progressively rehabilitating New Acland Mine since operations began in 2002. Rehabilitation commences immediately behind mining operations. Around 490Ha of mined land is rehabilitated. 240Ha of the rehabilitated land is now grazing ~75-100 cattle. Five years of scientific cattle grazing trials conducted on the rehabilitated land indicate cattle on mined land perform as well, or better than, cattle on unmined land.

New Acland benefits from one of Australia’s most ambitious and practical land management programs, led by the Acland Pastoral Company (APC).

Established by New Hope in 2006, APC provides a progressive rehabilitation program to return mined land to agricultural and conservation uses while contributing to the region’s agribusiness industry.

To date, about 400ha of land has been rehabilitated. Innovative cattle grazing trials and a local tree species planting program are also in progress.



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.


Peabody - Wilkie Creek

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.

Wilkie Creek - 2008 (Left). 2016 (Right)

Read more here: PDF icon Peabody Australia - Land Rehabilitation. pfd



At Anglo American’s Dawson Mine, the company pioneered the use of blasting techniques to successfully reshape void highwall into final landform position in 2013.
Pre- and post-blast surveying was undertaken to provide accurate estimates of how much reshaping and material was required for final landform. Four blasts were required to complete the project, which moved considerable amounts of highwall material into final landform position. Following reshaping, the area was seeded with a grazing mix of native and introduced species. It was then treated with five tonnes per ha of Gypsum in 2017 and re-seeded.
The area is currently being monitored for plant growth and species richness. Monitoring will continue every three years for progression to a stable state, and the area is expected to be ready for grazing activities in around four to five years. At the time, very few trials had been conducted using this sophisticated and innovative technique. The successful rehabilitation of the area has demonstrated the technique can be applied to reshaping mining voids – one of the most challenging aspects of rehabilitation for the industry – and rehabilitate land for productive post-mining use.