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The Queensland & New South Wales Coal Mine Rehabilitation Research Database: A Strategy For Improvement and Enhancement

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Published: July 16Project Number: c19030

Get ReportAuthor: M Gillespie, B West | The University of Queensland


The outcomes for projects C19030, C15045 and C12044 have been UPDATED and are available at C22026.



The outcomes of this project and the two previously databases (projects C12044 and C15045) have been merged into one state-of-the-art, web based database -

A large body of information on all aspects of coal mine rehabilitation across Australia has accumulated since large scale operations began several decades ago. However, the information contained in company sponsored reports, conference proceedings and journal articles is stored in numerous locations, is often fragmented and not readily accessible. With high turnover of mine environmental staff, loss of key individuals who maintain some continuity of knowledge, and the increasing proportions of graduates with less experience and site history, there is a high risk that staff new to the industry, sector or a particular site may not even be aware that work in a certain area has already been conducted. This will continue to lead to some obvious problems, including unnecessary repetition of work, initiation of ill-informed avenues of investigation, and an inability to learn from past mistakes that can result in impediments to opportunities for improvements in mine rehabilitation methodologies.

Substantial progress has been achieved in our understanding of coal mine rehabilitation issues and, with an ever increasing accumulation of information, the need for a centrally stored knowledge resource will become more pressing. It is for these reasons that databases of bibliographic information for Qld and NSW were developed (projectc C12044 and C15045) with ACARP support.

The aim of this extension project has been to merge these databases to produce a single source reference document that provides an annotated bibliography of existing published and grey literature on coal mine rehabilitation related issues. The major benefits include:

· a reduction in the loss of information;

· ready access to reference data; and

· the provision of a mechanism to effectively identify genuine knowledge gaps.

A key risk to these beneficial outcomes lies in the level of awareness, use and continual management of the resource. In addition, ongoing maintenance of the website and database, and the active addition of references over time have been identified as areas of concern. The major objectives have therefore been to develop a transfer medium that ensures reference information is easily accessible and searchable, kept up to date over time and uses state of the art software that can be easily upgraded to take advantage of new features. Dig Database currently contains over 2,500 annotated references in a user friendly, searchable database framework that is publicly accessible via the web. Continual use, feedback and support will enable this resource to remain of ongoing relevance and value to the industry, regulatory authorities and other interested parties.


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