Chris Gimber is a Principal Environmental Engineer with almost 20 years’ experience in broad ranging technical roles, with particular expertise in site rehabilitation, environmental geochemistry and water management. He has been involved in mining projects in a number of geographies including Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, PNG, India, Brazil and New Zealand.
He has provided expert testimony on surface water, groundwater and soils matters within Australia and internationally.
Clermont Coal Mine Rehabilitation Practices
This presentation details the rehabilitation practices at Clermont Coal Mine in Queensland, Australia, including the planning, implementation and maintenance practices at the site. Learnings from this site are particularly relevant to other mines that have seasonal climates, unpredictable rainfall, large waste rock dumps, dispersive soils, floodplain interaction and deep voids.
The mine has developed a coordinated approach to rehabilitation planning and implementation, founded on the basis of the overarching Glencore procedure, but customised to the unique characteristics of the site. Key elements of the approach include setting realistic rehabilitation targets, providing consistent work to ensure continuity of the rehabilitation workforce and establishing open and meaningful communication at appropriate times. The site adopts a rolling two year rehabilitation cycle, with the initial tasks comprising bulk earthworks and landform shaping, followed by detailed trimming, drainage works and revegetation.
From a design perspective the site presents a number of challenges including a seasonal climate, dispersive soils and high landforms. Measures that have been adopted at the site include the use of tri-linear slopes to stabilise long batters and control erosion, trials of a range of seed mixes and ground stabilisation approaches, different topsoil combinations, use of basalt for armouring and various drainage design techniques.
Many of the approaches applied at Clermont Coal Mine could be applied at other coal and mineral mines to improve rehabilitation outcomes across the industry.
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