Coal miner Peabody Energy has received certification from the Queensland Government for rehabilitating nearly 90 hectares of the Wilkie Creek open cut mine northwest of Dalby in the Darling Downs.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane offered effusive praise at the company’s milestone, calling it “another clear and practical example of Peabody’s commitment to the environment and the sustainability of mining in regional Queensland”.
Peabody purchased Wilkie Creek in 2002 and suspended operations in late 2013. The company’s rehabilitation plans are transforming the project site into grazing land for cattle, which allows the land to continue to contribute economically and encourage local employment.
So far the company has completed over 60 per cent of its rehabilitation at the site, with over 50 cattle on the property as of November 2018.
Macfarlane also praised Peabody’s use of technology to collaborate with local landholders, which includes trials of cattle wearing GPS-enabled collars.
Peabody partnered with technology provider Agersens to implement its eShepherd technology on 10 livestock in order to monitor their movement and grazing patterns on the rehabilitated land.
“This is fantastic work by Peabody to not only work with local landholders to co-exist but to implement a technology that will ensure 24/7 data monitoring of the cattle,” Macfarlane said.
The Queensland Government passed rehabilitation reforms late last year that will see mining companies contribute to a pooled fund to cover rehabilitation costs in instances that the companies can’t cover the cost themselves.