Conference shares international insights to manage the rehabilitation of mined lands
Leading international professionals, stakeholders and companies within the mine rehabilitation sector will share and learn industry insights at a conference tomorrow, hosted by the University of Newcastle’s environmental outreach arm, the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment (TFI).
Now in its 8th year, the Best Practice Ecological Rehabilitation of Mined Lands Conference will attract more than 260 delegates and feature presentations from international speakers including soils and restoration ecology expert Professor Eduardo Arellano from Chile, forestry expert Professor Yudi Firmanul Arifin from Indonesia, and geomorphic mine rehabilitation expert Professor José Martín Duque from Spain.
The conference, on Thursday 12 April, provides a valuable opportunity for industry practitioners, government regulators, service professionals and academia from across the world to network and promote the use of best-practice approaches in the management of rehabilitation of mined lands.
For more information and the conference program, go to www.tomfarrellinstitute.org/mlrc2018.
Media are invited for a photo/interview opportunity at the conference: 10.30am – 11am, Thursday 12 April in the Starlight Auditorium at Wests New Lambton.
Director of the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment (TFI), Professor Tim Roberts, is available for interview on 0418 205 664. To organise an interview with an international speaker, please phone Belinda McNab on 0407 655 594.
Principles of Soilscape and Landscape Evolution by Garry Willgoose to be launched at the 2018 Mine Rehab Conference
Computational models are invaluable in understanding the complex effects of physical processes and environmental factors which interact to influence landform evolution of geologic time scales. This book provides a holistic guide to the construction of numerical models to explain the co-evolution of landforms, soil, vegetation and tectonics, and describes how the geomorphology observable today has been formed. It explains the science of the physical processes and the mechanics of how to solve them, providing a useful resource for graduates studying geomorphology and sedimentary and erosion processes. It also emphasises the methods for assessing the relative importance of different factors at field sites, enabling researchers to select the appropriate processes to model. Integrating a discussion of the fundamental processes with mathematical formulations, it guides the reader in understanding which processes are important and why; and creates a framework through which to study the interaction of soils, vegetation and landforms over time.
'This book was worth the wait! What started as a description of a pioneer modelling effort thirty years ago ended up as a comprehensive treatise on soil and landscape evolution enriched by the experience of Dr Willgoose. Hydrologists and geomorphologists interested in a quantitative understanding of what goes on the critical surface zone of the geosphere must read this book.'
Rafael L. Bras - Georgia Institute of Technology
'If it moves, model it! There is no better synthesis of all the various elements in landscapes and soil than this lifetime compilation in which Willgoose examines the many mechanisms operating in the landscape, at scales from continental tectonics down to the soil profile, demonstrating how he and others have built them into functional, mutually consistent and inter-connecting models. Its greatest strengths lie in the incorporation of soil processes - physical breakdown, mixing and weathering; and in how principles and models have been applied to the management of degrading spoil heaps.'
Mike Kirkby - University of Leeds
'An outstanding synthesis that thoroughly addresses both the theoretical basis and practical application of landscape evolution modelling - a benchmark of its kind.'
Stuart Lane - Université de Lausanne
To order online goto: http://bit.ly/2GLjItz
Book Launch - Spoil to Soil: Mine Site Rehabilitation and Revegetation - to be launched at the 2018 Mine Rehab Conference on Thursday 12th April
- Alec Roberts
Spoil to Soil looks at both the fundamental and practical aspects of remediation and revegetation of mine sites and provides a narrative of how inert soil can be converted to living soil.
This book is a collaboration from researchers across the world, including: South Korea, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Canada.
The three editors, Dr Ok from Korea University, Prof Kirkham from Kansas State University and our own Prof Nanthi Bolan from University of Newcastle, have provided a framework for their research colleagues and students to guide their research on Mine Rehab.
These researchers include 15 from the Global Centre for Environmental Remediation at the University of Newcastle, many of who are in the room today.
The book examines the fundamental properties of mine site spoil through:
Spoil to Soil illustrates various approaches to mine site rehab practices. Importantly the biological characteristics of mine tailings and the ecological inputs required to rehabilitate soil-like biological properties and conditions which allow soil formation (pedogenesis) and reduction in the mobility of heavy metals in the soil using plant communities (or phytostabilization) are addressed in significant detail.
New research is presented looking at using nanotechnology for mine site remediation for organic contaminants (such as PCB’s) and inorganic contaminants such as heavy metals.
The book also looks at the post mine site land-use practices of beef cattle production on rehab mine lands including the pasture and grazing trials here in the Hunter Valley.
Case studies are presented from the Appalachian coalfields including reforestation approaches following surface coalmining [read controversial mountain top removal]; and recreating headwater stream systems using Natural Channel Design techniques.
The book also covers interesting topics on key issues on mine closure planning for pit lakes and the potential for soil carbon sequestration for lands disturbed by mining.
Spoil to Soil is not only relevant to mined land rehabilitation in Australia but with its international case studies much can be learnt from the descriptions of successful mine rehabilitation in:
The publishers have a special deal for conference delegates and are providing 20% off when you order online. A flyer detailing this is in your delegates bag.
It gives me much pleasure to launch the book Spoil to Soil.
Please join with me in congratulating Nanthi and his colleagues.
To order online goto: bit.ly/SpoiltoSoil
Sustainable Mining through Geomorphic Rehabilitation
Keynote Address: “Dealing with Derelict Mines: Novel risk-based management approaches to dealing with problems, issues and policy challenges” International Conference 6-8 December 2016. Singleton, NSW.
Since time immemorial the mining of the earth’s riches has been a universal and necessary function of societies across the world. The situation in Australia has been no different, from the agates of the stone implements of the indigenous peoples through to the sandstone quarries of the First Fleeters, the gold rushes, the miners in general and most recently the huge excavations of the coal miners. The riches have been there for the taking for individual wealth creation and through the taxing with licences and royalties national wealth creation. Also since time immemorial abandonment of the mine when the resource has been exhausted has been the common practice, with the cleanup, the restoration, the reinstatement of the landscape left to the community that has lived in that space premining.
With some 50,000 abandoned mines across Australia the impact on these communities is manifold, from an innocuous hole in the ground that can be used for recreation, to disturbed land prone to sinkholes and subsidence, through to the highly dangerous toxic and acidic leachate emitters. Although governments have been quick to set in place the taxing implements related to active mining, it is only in recent decades that rehabilitation requirements have been enshrined in legislation.
A derelict mine is one that no longer has an owner, but indeed it is in fact “owned” by the community of that area. That community was associated with that landscape before it was disturbed and lives with the disturbance presently and into the future. Similarly the government has moral ownership of the derelict mine as it had been party to approval, and implantation of the mine through licencing, taxing, and royalty collection.
The socio-cultural legacies of abandoned mines are intimately intertwined with the environmental legacies which are often all too visible. Communities endure and the derelict mines whilst inducing solastalgia in the individual generations that lived through the active mine life; offer in some cases opportunities for new use of the landscape and in other cases an enduring environmental hazard.
In the news
17 May 2019 Newcastle Mine Rehabilitation Conference seeks to answer crucial questions - Hunter Business Review
9 Apr 2018 Finding better outcomes for land after mining. - Newcastle Herald
Newcastle mine rehabilitation conference hears of industry progress towards ecological best practice - Newcastle Herald 14 Apr 2018
Mine rehabilitation goes under the spotlight - NBN 13 Apr 2018
Eighth year for annual mine rehabilitation conference - Hunter Business Chamber (Hunter Biz) March 2018
Mined Land Rehabilitation Conference - Hunter Business Review March 2018
Time For Rehab - The CoalFace - VOL 2 NO 6: MARCH - APRIL 2018
Mine Rehabilitation Conference - nrmjobs