University of Western Australia
With over 10 years’ operational experience in the coal mining industry within Qld and NSW, Karin has worked on a diverse range of technical issues. These include tailings management, biodiversity and conservation offsets, spontaneous combustion, mineral waste management, rehabilitation and mine closure planning and execution. Karin’s passion is aligned with all things relevant to mine rehabilitation and positive whilst efficacious mine closure.
Karin currently is completing her PhD in environmental economics at the University of Western Australia. Her research involves undertaking an economic valuation of different post-mine land uses to assist in the decision making of mine closure options. A coal mine in the Central Tablelands of NSW is being used as the case study.
Pre- and post-mine land use trends in the New South Wales and Queensland coal industry
It is recognised that mining is a temporary land use and there is a need to transition to an acceptable land use after mining ceases. In Australia, this land use typically includes grazing or reinstatement of native ecosystems present prior to disturbance (Maczkowiack et al 2012, Doley and Audet, 2013, Lechner et al 2016). However, no published information exists that informs on the collective plans for the coal mining industry’s proposed post-mining land uses.
In this study, datasets were created using publically available information on pre-and proposed post-mine land uses for coal mines in Queensland (QLD) and New South Wales (NSW). We will discuss what pre-mining land uses are typically identified and how this definition changes post-mining. This information is useful for the identification of future alternative land uses as well as support decision and policy making at a landscape level.
Results indicate that agriculture and biodiversity are the most commonly proposed post-mine land uses compared to agriculture being the dominant pre-mining land use. Sites also commonly nominated multiple post-mine land uses, with over 85% of sites nominating between 1-3 post-mine land uses. There is limited evidence to suggest that operations are more likely to remain consistent with the land use present at pre-disturbance. In QLD, 11 sites (24%) and 5 sites in NSW (13%) identified a post-mine land use that was identical to the pre-mine land use. Other sites may reinstate the original land use with the addition of other land uses with 35 sites (76%) in QLD, and 23 (58%) of sites in NSW nominating a combination of post-mine land uses that included at least the pre-mining land use. Furthermore, it was evident that mine sites tend to focus on rehabilitation objectives rather than defining post-mine land use directly.
Stream 1 - Pathways to relinquishment and opportunities to transition to productive alternate land usesUnderstanding Acid Mine Drainage / Acid Rock Drainage and the implications for rehabilitation and closureHarnessing Hyperaccumulator Plants to Phytoremediate Contaminated Mining SitesIssues in Tropical Forest Rehabilitation Post Mining in Borneo