Central Queensland mine reaches rehabilitation milestone

Published Monday, 15 March, 2021 at 11:12 AM

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

A former open cut mine in Central Queensland has been transformed into natural and productive land thanks to an impressive rehabilitation program.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said areas of Glencore’s Oaky Creek coal mine had achieved certification for its progressive land rehabilitation.

“Up to 133 hectares of land that was once part of an open cut mine is now verdant landscape with native vegetation and is on track to being safely and sustainably passed on for the next land use,” Mr Stewart said.

“In 2018 the Palaszczuk Government passed important mining rehabilitation legislation to ensure land no longer used for mining is returned to its original state, or better.

“It is great to see companies like Glencore take on their rehabilitation responsibility with real enthusiasm and produce impressive results like we see here today.

“These rehabilitation programs help create more jobs for Queenslanders well after a mine is no longer in use.”

Located 90km North-west of Emerald in the heart of Queensland's Bowen Basin, Oaky Creek coal mine produces high quality steel-making metallurgical coal for export, with six million tonnes produced in 2020.

Coal from the mine is exported and used all over the world to produce steel and cement - around 770 kilograms of metallurgical coal is used to make the steel for an average mid-sized family car and more than 220 tonnes of metallurgical coal is required to build a wind turbine.

Since the closure of open cut operations in 2006, after more than 20 years in action, Glencore has focused on backfilling open cut voids and revegetating with native species.

Glencore’s General Manager of Environment and Community, John Watson, said the certification covered two areas on the site that now supported native vegetation and had potential for cattle grazing.

“This is the fifth successful certification application in the past three years by a Glencore site in Queensland and the seventh across Glencore’s Australian coal business,” Mr Watson said.

“Achieving Government sign-off on these areas of rehabilitation is reward for many, many hours invested by our workforce in returning mined land to the agreed post-mining purposes.”

The Palaszczuk Government introduced world-leading mine rehabilitation regulations and improved financial assurance outcomes for the state’s resources sector with the passing of the Mineral and Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) Act 2018.

Mr Stewart said with advances in modern regulatory framework, mine rehabilitation is now a key component of company policies and the life of mine planning cycle.

“We know resource developments bring significant benefits to regional communities and Queensland,” Mr Stewart said.

“These advances in rehabilitation ultimately provide certainty for business, industry and ongoing benefits for local communities.

"To date, Glencore has completed 10,375 ha of rehabilitation across its Queensland coal mines, equivalent to more than 17,000 football fields.”


Media contact:           Chris Lees – 0434 859 940