Conference Tour: Mangoola Mine, Hunter Valley

10 April 2019

An optional field trip to the Hunter Region will be available to delegates of SDIMI 2019. This tour will include a site visit to Glencore’s Mangoola Rehabilitation mine site. Guests will travel to the Hunter Region via bus from Sydney.

Glencore’s Mangoola open cut coal mine includes the largest area of rehabilitation in NSW constructed using natural landform design principles. Mined land has been successfully returned to natural hills and valleys and vegetated with native plants found in the surrounding areas. The objective is to recreate the natural ecosystems and supporting habitats of the region.

Mangoola open cut coal mine is located near Wybong in the Muswellbrook Local Government Area. The mine has operated since 2011, with approval to produce 13.5 million tonnes of Run of Mine (ROM) coal per annum for export and domestic markets.

Mangoola mine is located in an area characterised by undulating hills and heavily vegetated sandstone escarpments. This created a major challenge, to manage and reshape excavated rock and earth to produce a natural looking landform that would blend in with the surrounding topography.

A number of preliminary steps guided the development of natural landform rehabilitation planning. These included:

·         testing of overburden and topsoil

·         evaluation of existing creek and drainage lines

·         the use of hydrological modelling

Mine planners and managers worked with external specialists to develop a mine plan using landform design computer software. The software can be used to design landforms similar to surrounding areas that can convey runoff water in a similar way that a natural landform would.

Following a successful trial in December 2012, the mine revised final landform plans for the entire footprint of the mine. To date, the natural landform rehabilitation covers over 420 hectares and this will continue to grow.

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