Glencore’s former Ulan coal mine rehabilitated into natural habitat

The painted honeyeater is one of the native species that has returned to the rehabilitated Ulan coal mine site.

Glencore has transformed 52 hectares of the formerly mined land at the Ulan coal operation in New South Wales into a habitat for a diverse range of native plants and animals.

The rehabilitation efforts have been signed off by the New South Wales resources regulator for meeting the agreed completion criteria, having reached an appropriate post-mining state.

Government sign-off means that the Ulan site has reached the completion criteria and that with continued monitoring and maintenance, it will produce a self-sustaining ecosystem.

Rehabilitation at the former Ulan site started in the early 1980’s and now the land is home to more than 130 species of native wildlife, including several endangered species.

“Our detailed monitoring programs have recorded eight species of endangered birds including the painted honeyeater and three species of endangered bats,” Ulan environment and community manager Robyn Stoney said.

“The rehabilitation process began with 10 native plant species in the original seed mix and our monitoring has now recorded more than 45 more plant species in the area.

“Trees have grown to around 10 metres tall and an understory has developed, including groundcovers and moss that are indicative of successive regeneration and healthy soils.”

Glencore has also achieved government sign-off for its rehabilitation of the Westside site near Newcastle in New South Wales and at the Rolleston and Newlands operations in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

Ulan was first mined for coal in the early 1920’s and began producing in 1942, with a second underground mine established in 1957.

The open cut operation was placed on care and maintenance in 2016 but mining at Ulan West and Ulan underground operations continue, with approval to operate until 2033.

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