Glencore’s Oaky Creek Coal complex in Central Queensland has kicked further goals with its environmental management, securing Queensland Government sign-off on 433 hectares (equivalent to almost 700 football fields) of rehabilitated mined land.
It is the second successful application from Oaky Creek over the past two years, having previously achieved sign-off on another 133 hectares of rehabilitation in 2020, bringing the total at Oaky Creek to 566 hectares.
The latest certification represents the ninth successful application for sign-off by a Glencore coal operation and the seventh at a Queensland site, following previous certification for 211 hectares at Newlands (2017 and 2021), almost 400 hectares at Rolleston (2018 and 2019) and 99 hectares at Collinsville (2020).
New South Wales sites Westside (38 hectares in 2020) and Ulan (52 hectares in 2020) have also achieved sign-off on areas of rehabilitation.
A number of Glencore sites in both states are currently preparing submissions for certification of further areas.
Glencore’s Director of Environment and Community, John Watson, said the certification proved the benefit of sites maintaining a focus on completing rehabilitation while active mining was taking place.
“Progressive rehabilitation is good environmental and economic practice,” Mr Watson said.
“In the short term, we are minimising our active mining footprint while also making use of the equipment available in a working area to prepare and shape the rehabilitation.
“In the longer term, it is enabling our sites to achieve sign-off well before mine closure, which reduces the amount of rehabilitation required when mining ends and provides a mature, sustainable platform for post-mining land uses.”
To achieve certification, rehabilitated mined land must meet key completion requirements that include:
- mature vegetation and demonstrated species reproduction from seeding
- soil stability that is proving capable of supporting long-term regeneration of species.
Oaky Creek Operations Manager, Dave Stone, said the latest certification at site represented up to 20 years of work by employees.
“Rehabilitation work in some of these areas began as early as 2001,” Mr Stone said.
“It’s a reflection of the investment our people are prepared to make to deliver quality rehabilitation outcomes that meet the expectations of government and the community.
“This is progressing responsible mining through to its completion.”