Various site tours will be available for Mine Closure 2019 delegates. Please check back as more information is added to this page.

BHP Beenup Rehabilitation Project Site Visit

6 September 2019 | Margaret River region, Western Australia

 

In 2018, 19 years after closure, rehabilitation of the former Beenup Titanium Minerals project has achieved regulatory sign-off against the 21 completion criteria, as agreed with stakeholders.

The project, located in the southwest of Western Australia closed prematurely in 1999 after only two years of operation. Stakeholder concerns for the rehabilitation of the site were high and the technical challenges complex, given the post-mine environment comprised 335 ha of disturbance, including deep dredge ponds, clay tailings disposal dams and disturbed acid sulfate soils in an environment upstream of two rivers and a national park.

The site now supports a network of wetlands, integrated with the local drainage system and surrounded by a diverse mix of vegetation types and associated fauna habitat. Engineered structures are stable and performing as designed.

The Beenup Consultative Group, formed ten years prior to closure, played an integral part in the planning, design and oversight of rehabilitation, including independent peer review, and remains active.

The site is now transitioning, with stakeholder input, to a monitoring and relinquishment phase requiring only minimal resources to ensure that the project tenements continue to meet the remaining statutory obligations and that design features are not compromised while also considering the opportunities that could be realised for the site into the longer term post-relinquishment.

The ACG thanks BHP for freely donating their time and resources to host this visit.

Spaces are limited. More details coming soon. To register your interest, email info-acg@uwa.edu.au

Iluka Resources’ Tutunup South Site Visit

6 September 2019 | Busselton region, Western Australia

 

Iluka Resources is currently rehabilitating its Tutunup South mine, located in the soutwest of Western Australia, approximately 16 km southeast of Busselton. Tutunup South was mined between 2011 and 2018 for zircon and ilmenite for the production of synthetic rutile at Iluka’s Capel processing facilities. Rehabilitation commenced in 2018 and will be completed in 2021. The site is one of numerous mines that Iluka has closed or is progressively rehabilitating in Australia, the US and Sierra Leone.

Tutunup South is mainly agriculture land (192 ha) that will be returned to productive pasture. Native vegetation makes up the remaining 17 ha and include 2 ha of paluslope wetland. This wetland contained plant species that are difficult to propagae so Iluka used an innovative approach for its rehabilitation. The entire wetland vegetation, including its soil, was transplanted to an irrigated nursery area in 2010. The plants have survived and flourished in the nursery and will be transplated into the reinstated wetland in 2019.

To register your interest, email info-acg@uwa.edu.au

Restoration Science and Botanic Garden Tour

6 September 2019 | Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia

Duration: Half day 9:00am – 12:00pm

 

Kings Park Science is the State’s premier restoration science and ex-situ conservation research provider, having developed a strong restoration science brand over the past 30 years in collaboration with the mining sector.

Research has supported significant insight into rebuilding threatened ecological communities and conserving the rarest plant species through ex-situ conservation and translocation programs. These activities are underpinned by a diverse and integrated mix of restoration sciences, including: restoration ecology and ecophysiology, seed science, conservation genetics, conservation biotechnology, ecosystem ecology, engineering, fire ecology and systematics.

The laboratory and glasshouse tour will highlight leading technologies and concepts across these key areas as related to mine rehabilitation and closure. A guided walk will then allow guests to experience key features of the Kings Park’s Botanic Garden and adjacent bushland.  

For visitors to WA, the Kings Park bushland is located approximately 1 km from the conference venue and is the epicentre of Perth’s urban woodland conservation reserve system. Known to have over 320 native plant species, 70 bird species, 20 reptile species, and many hundreds of invertebrates, the park’s conservation programmes are critical to ensure the unique biodiversity of this system is protected and enhanced for future generations. In unison with the conservation programmes, Kings Park’s high profile ecological restoration initiatives have evolved over decades, assisting the recovering of degraded habitats within the park’s plant and animal communities.

The ACG thanks the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Kings Park Science for generously giving their time and resources in facilitating this activity.

Spaces will be limited to 40. Morning tea provided.

Contact details for bookings:

Lyndsey Osborne
Scienceadmin@dbca.wa.gov.au
Phone: + 61 8 94803614

 

Collie Mine Lake District Inspection

7 September 2019 | Collie River Catchment, Western Australia

The town of Collie (population over 10,000) is the centre of the coal mining industry in Western Australia. Collie is located 250 km south of Perth, on the north-western rim of the Collie Coal Basin within the Collie River catchment. The major land uses in the catchment are coal mining, timber production, power generation and agriculture. Approximately 79% of the catchment is state forest. The recreation and nature conservation values of the forest areas are highly regarded along with the recreational opportunities provided by the Wellington Reservoir and other surface waters: including two historic pit lakes.

The Collie Coal basin covers an area of approximately 224 km2, is 27 km long and 13 km wide. The basin consists of two lobe-shaped sub-basins: the Cardiff sub-basin (115 km2) to the west; and the Premier sub-basin (74 km2) to the east; separated by a faulted basement high, known as Stockton Ridge.

Underground and open cut coal mining has taken place in the Collie basin since 1898 with a number of mining legacies resulting. Until the mid-1990s, coal mining was predominantly in the Cardiff sub-basin. In 1997 mining in the Cardiff sub-basin ceased and since then mining has taken place in the Premier sub-basin at the Muja, Ewington and Premier mines. As a result of a dispute with the government, six open cut pits were abandoned in the 1950s and 1960s, which went on to form Stockton Lake, Ewington Lake, Blue Waters, Black Diamond (A & B) and Wallsend (historically used for landfill).

Currently two mining companies, Yancoal Premier Coal Pty Ltd and Lanco Griffin Coal Pty Ltd, have active mines and a number of unrelinquished pit lakes in the Premier sub-basin. Yancoal Premier Coal Pty Ltd is currently evaluating rehabilitation and development of end uses for finished pits in the Cardiff sub-basin. Premier also seeks to relinquish Lake Kepwari which completed mining in 1997. Griffin Coal is maintaining pit lakes in the Premier sub-basin in an operational capacity, but also seeking relinquishment options that might also entail beneficial end uses.

The ACG thanks Dr Cherie McCullough, principal environmental scientist/director at Mine Lakes Consulting for leading this inspection, and freely donating her time and resources.
More details coming soon. To register your interest, email info-acg@uwa.edu.au

Site Inspection Leader

Dr Cherie D. McCullough is director of Mine Lakes Consulting with over 20 years research and consultancy experience in environmental management issues.

Cherie has international experience and key expertise with aquatic ecological and geochemical applications in mining and the environment; in mine closure and mining impacts on waters. She is a recognised leading international expert on mine pit lake sustainability, closure planning and rehabilitation, with project experience across Australasia, Asia, and North and South America. Cherie also makes regular presentations to government and professional bodies on mine closure and has helped develop closure regulatory guidance for Western Australia, South Australia, the Commonwealth of Australia, PNG, Canada and APEC.

Cherie has authored over 100 published peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and is editor of the book “Mine Pit Lakes: Closure and Management” through the Australian Centre for Geomechanics.