Anglo American has launched a livestock grazing trial on nearly 50 hectares of rehabilitated mine land at its Dartbrook coal mine.
The trial, which will run between three and five years, will evaluate if the remediated land can sustain productive and commercially viable livestock grazing.
Rehabilitation of the land was carried out in 2007, after reshaping the land and revegetating the site with pasture species.
According to the site’s property manager Ian Curtis a herd of 27 cattle were introduced to the site early last month to begin the grazing trial.
“The objective of the trial will be to demonstrate that the rehabilitated mining land can be successfully grazed at a reasonable and commercial stocking rate,” Curtis said.
“We are quite positive that the land will be able to sustain cattle grazing,”
The trial will involve extensive monitoring of the land and stock, as well as regular counting and weighing of the cattle, and soil and chemical assessments to monitor changes or erosion.
“It is important for Anglo American to continue to demonstrate that the land has a sustainable future after mining,” Curtis said.
“We’re at the forefront of strategies for sustainable final land use and we’re committed to the rehabilitation of mining sites with the long term in mind.”
Anglo American is amongst a number of mines looking at innovative ways to rehabilitate and reuse former mining land.
Glencore has helped establish an olive grove above an operating underground mine, Rio Tinto has used advanced agricultural technology to blend native grass seeds over 80 hectares of rehabilitated mining land, whilst AGL has used water from CSSG wells to help grow crops.