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Westside achieves a New South Wales rehabilitation first

Media statement
18 February 2020

 

Glencore's Westside open cut coal site in the New South Wales Lower Hunter has received Government certification for a section of its rehabilitated mined land, a first for the State's coal industry under contemporary mine rehabilitation criteria.

The Government sign-off on 38 hectares of the rehabilitation—equivalent to more than 60 football fields—means the rehabnilitation of these former mining areas has met all rehabilitation objectives and closure criteria set out by the Department of Planning and Environment, the Resources Regulator, and the Division of Resources and Geoscience.

The Westside open cut mine, near Wakefield on the north-western shores of Lake Macquarie, produced coal for domestic power generators between 1992 and 2012.

Westside Environment & Community Manager, Ben Clibborn, said the mine had maintained a very strong focus on progressive rehabilitation during its operations and set a high standard under rigorous criteria being applied to mine closure.

"The focus on progressive rehabilitation throughout the operational phase meant final rehabilitation of the mine was completed in April 2012, just two months after mining finished," Mr Clibborn said.

"The site has been returned to bushland consisting of native vegetation communities that are characteristic of the local environment and landform type.

"Our ongoing monitoring had shown that natural ecosystem functions were returning, with recent surveys identifying 69 native fauna species in the rehabilitation, including 11 threatened species.

"We're very pleased to have reached a point at which this area of rehabilitation has been accepted by Government as meeting completion criteria."

The certification for Westside follows a similar first for coal min rehabilitation at Glencore's Newlands operations in Queensland's Bowen Basin.

Glencore's Land & Property Manager, Nigel Charnock, said further areas of rehabilitation at Westside were being prepared for sign-off assessment, as well as areas at Ulan Coal operations in the State's mid-west.

"Planning for rehabilitation at all Glencore open cut operations starts as early in the mine life as possible; with our contemporary mines this takes place before first coal is mined," he explained.

"Rehabilitation is then incorporated into daily mine plans and annual plans to ensure the work is adequately resourced, budgeted and delivered.

"These annual plans include targeted areas for disturbance, shaping and seeding for the budget year ahead, as well as forecasts for rehabilitation across the life of mine to minimise the area of rehabilitation required at the end of mining."

Mr Charnock said Glencore's coal operations across New South Wales and Queensland had again achieved more than 1,000 hectares of rehabilitation in 2019 with over 1,300 hectares being seeded, the fourth successive year this ambitious target has been realised.

"But it is not just about quantity. Our site rehabilitation has to be quality as well; that is, capable of meeting an agreed end land use, as is the case with Westside," he said.

A comprehensive view of the rehabilitation work at Westside can be seen on Glencore Australia's Macquarie Coal web page.

The results of rehabilitation work across all Glencore coal operations can be viewed on Glencore's Coal Mine Rehabilitation booklet (PDF 7.3MB).

 

For further information, please contact:

Media

Allyn Hamonet
m: +61 418 228 075
e: Allyn Hamonet

Francis De Rosa
m: +61 417 074 751
e: Francis De Rosa

 

Notes for editors

Glencore

Glencore is one of the world's largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 60 commodities. The Group's operations comprise about 150 mining and metallurgical sites and oil production assets.

With a strong footprint in both established and emerging regions for natural resources, Glencore's industrial and marketing activities are supported by a global network of offices located in over 35 countries.

Glencore's customers are industrial consumers, such as those in the automotive, steel, power generation, battery manufacturing and oil sectors. We also provide financing, logistics and other services to producers and consumers of commodities. Glencore's companies employ around 158,000 people, including contractors.

Glencore is proud to be a member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the International Council on Mining and Metals. We are an active participant in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Glencore Australia

Glencore has operated in Australia for over 20 years and holds significant interests in a range of commodity industries across all mainlaind states and the Northern Territory.

Headquartered in Sydney, we are a major Australian employer, with 18,000 people working across industries that include coal, copper, zinc, nickel, oil and agricultural products.

During 2018 in Australia, Glencore contributed more than $15.6 billion to the regional, state and national economies. The most significant economic contribution came from core business activities: employing people, sourcing from local communities, and paying taxes to host governments.

Glencore's coal business in Australia

Glencore is one of Australia's largest coal producers with 16 operational mines across New South Wales and Queensland.

We provide employment for around 10,000 Australians and in 2018 managed the production of about 108 million tonnes of thermal and coking coal, predominantly for export. We have a strong safety and environmental performance and play an active role in the development of low emission coal technology.