Chuwar Coal Mine, located just 5km from Ipswich, has become the first open-cut coal mine in Queensland to be fully rehabilitated and relinquished.
Chuwar Coal Mine, located just 5km from Ipswich, has become the first open-cut coal mine in Queensland to be fully rehabilitated and relinquished, with the Queensland Government accepting surrender of New Hope Group’s Environmental Authority and Mining Leases for the site.
The Queensland Government critically assessed the project and concluded that all rehabilitation requirements had been met in full, deeming the site safe, stable, non-polluting, and able to support grazing.
The site was subject to open-cut coal mining throughout the 1980’s.
Chief Executive Officer, Rob Bishop said New Hope Group made the decision to backfill the voids, reshape and rehabilitate the area to meet community expectations.
“The extensive rehabilitation works were conducted between 2014 and 2017, with ongoing works undertaken over the past eight years,” Mr Bishop said.
“The Chuwar Coal Mine site demonstrates New Hope Group’s commitment to being a responsible operator and ensuring the rehabilitation of mined land to a safe and productive post mining land use.”
For more than 16 years, New Hope Group has championed one of Australia’s most ambitious and practical land management programs.
“Our progressive rehabilitation program at New Acland returns mined land to agricultural and conservation uses while contributing to the region’s agribusiness industry,” Mr Bishop said.
“To date, more than 740ha of land has been rehabilitated at New Acland. Our environmental credentials have also been formally recognised by the Queensland Government, who has formally ratified 349 hectares of progressively rehabilitated mined land.
"At the time of the Queensland Government’s announcement, it was the largest single area of certified rehabilitation for an open cut coal mine in Queensland.
“To put the size of the area in context, the certified, rehabilitated land at New Acland covers approximately 300 Suncorp Stadiums.”
New Hope Group’s progressive rehabilitation methods go above and beyond what the environmental regulator requires, which is some of the highest environmental standards in the world.
The rehabilitation work at both Chuwar and New Acland are a clear and practical demonstration of the successful co-existence of mining and agriculture.