Peabody’s Wilkie Creek rehabilitation creates jobs

Wilkie Creek pit rehabilitated (2015). Image: Peabody Energy

Peabody Australia’s former Wilkie Creek coal mine has been transitioned to post-rehabilitation land uses, during which the company employed 100 per cent of its workforce from the local community of Surat Basin in Queensland.

From a total $6.5 million spent in the Wilkie Creek rehabilitation last year, $2.7 million of this was invested back to the local community and suppliers.

Company president George Schuller said, “It allows us to go back and show the support for the community that supported us for so many years.”

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane praised the company’s work in rehabilitating the mine, saying, “I congratulate Peabody Australia for its commitment to deliver rehabilitated land through productive partnerships with other land users, local communities and employing locally.

“This is a great example of a coal company employing a transitional team to ensure mined land is restored back to a standard, which can be used for multiple land uses including grazing.”

Peabody has reclaimed nearly 60 per cent of the total land on-site since mine operation was suspended in 2013.

Images: Minerals Council of Australia

 

Mineral Councils of Australia said the rehabilitation work included backfilling of open cut voids, reshaping of dumps and undergoing demolition and associated works. Peabody has also installed paddocks and cattle watering systems to support the end land use of grazing.

“We’ve had a lot of community engagement as we went through this process trying to understand the needs of the community,” Schuller said.

“What are we going to do with some of the grazing? Has the cattle started to progress over time? Now we have nearly 50 cattle on the property.”

Macfarlane added, “The Queensland industry is proud of its rehabilitation record and we expect to do that even better. We are currently in discussions with the State Government on how we can produce even better world-class outcomes on rehabilitation.

“The environmental standards we operate under are the strictest in the world, and working forward we wish to ensure that this rehabilitation process also sets the goal of standard for the rest of the world.”