Whitehaven Coal has planted 40,000 trees across almost 200 hectares in the rehabilitation of its Maules Creek operation in New South Wales.
On the way to rehabilitating the site into a woodland forest, the company should reach 79,500 trees by the end of 2021, taking advantage of the natural lay of the land
“Maules Creek has transitioned to the use of geomorphic design into the future of its progressive rehabilitation program following a successful trial period,” Whitehaven stated.
Geomorphic design typically requires less maintenance and provides more stable and self-sustaining environments.
Whitehaven has been working with a local provider to plant around 2000 trees per day while understanding the most effective way to manage the project.
The company stated it will continue to make projects like Maules Creek a focus ahead of more in-pit dumping strategies in future.
“As Maules Creek’s operations progress to in-pit dumping (placing overburden material in the pit rather than out of the pit), Whitehaven is targeting its out-of-pit emplacement areas for future progressive rehabilitation opportunities, improving the view of the mine from surrounding areas,” Whitehaven stated.
The rehabilitation process has multiple benefits, as it not only improves mine sustainability and improves the look of the area, but it will help to minimise potential sources of dust which can lead to health problems and exceed regulations.
Whitehaven will target another 80 hectares of rehabilitated land over the coming two years, as the land becomes available.
At the Maules Creek coal mine, Whitehaven recently achieved a full-year record of 12.7 million tonnes of run-of-mine production – well above original targets of 11.3 – 12 million tonnes.