Rehabilitation – Open Cut
The purpose of the rehabilitation is to restore the land to a condition that is equal or greater to the condition of the land prior to the mining disturbance. Rehabilitation is commenced as soon as practical following the completion of mining in an area. The rehabilitation activity includes:
- Overburden dumps of waste rock are compacted and shaped to between 8 – 10° to facilitate ground preparation, seeding and to minimise erosion impacts.
- Contour drains and stock dams are installed to control water runoff.
- Where topsoil is available, it is spread at a maximum of 150 millimetres thick over shaped overburden areas.
- Biosolids are used to supplement the application of topsoil where suitable. Biosolids add much needed nutrients to improve the quality and strike rate of the rehabilitation.
- In areas allocated for tree lots, deep ripping occurs along the contours over the entire area. For grass areas, the surface is ripped and rock- raked to remove any rocks at the surface.
- The ground is selectively treated with gypsum at the rate of 10 tonnes per hectare to combat the high clay content and to prevent surface sealing, enabling water penetration into the overburden.
- After gypsum application, the area is then deep ripped on the contour. Any large rocks brought to the surface are raked aside and then removed, used in spillways and drains or are sometimes reburied.
- The area is then seeded and fertilised.
- In the event that native tree species are being direct seeded in areas that have been spread with topsoil, the use of fertiliser is avoided to reduce the potential for weed infestation and subsequent competition for young germinants.
The mixture of seasonal cover crop and various native tree and understorey seed species is directly sown by broadcasting. Local provenance species are sown where available. In addition, numerous tree and shrub species are mixed depending on the season and the location of the area being rehabilitated. The objective is to obtain sustainability through the creation of a wooded tree lot or corridor containing all the natural attributes including ground covers, understorey and a canopy layer of assorted trees and bushes together with a variety of colour to attract native birds and marsupials. Both tree and grass species are sown utilising the direct seeding method within a mixture of seed, fertiliser and bulking agents.
As part of its commitment to environmentally sound mining practices, Bulga Coal has a comprehensive soil and vegetation management program. The aim of the program is to minimise the disturbance of local flora and fauna
habitat due to mining, and to facilitate rapid recovery of habitat values after
mining has been completed.
Rehabilitation - Underground
Rehabilitation projects at Bulga Underground Operations are showing excellent results, largely due to a positive commitment to preserve the long term heath of the areas affected by our operations.
Areas that have been disturbed by mining activities are rehabilitated soon after the mining activity is finished. The areas are repaired and planted with native seed or tree stock, and monitored carefully after planting. Weeds are controlled to ensure the trees and shrubs can establish themselves.
Areas disturbed by building of infrastructure are also rehabilitated as soon as possible. The aims of our rehabilitation projects include maintaining genetic diversity of the area and providing visual screening.