Open Cut

Microclimate Re-vegetation Monitoring

Open Cut » Environment

Published: August 14Project Number: C21042

Get ReportAuthor: Christian Richter, Brano Kusy, John Neldner, Michael Ngugi, Darren Moore | CSIRO, DSITIA

Most mine sites within Australia have specific rehabilitation objectives in order to return the landscape to an acceptable state after the mine operations cease. In addition to these formal objectives set out by regulators, community expectations for satisfactory rehabilitation are very high, and a company's reputation can diminish if these are not met.

An effective assessment of rehabilitation compliance to the regulator presents significant challenges as the outcome depends on many interacting parts.  For example, the influence of climate may distort the efforts of mine sites by masking the true progress that has been achieved. On one hand, mediocre rehabilitation efforts by a mine may be masked by favourable climatic conditions such as ideal rainfall and temperature patterns. On the other hand, superb rehabilitation efforts by a mine may be limited by drought conditions over multiple years just before relinquishment. Consequently, the true efforts put in by a mine and their operators are currently hard to quantify.

Another challenge is to perform a truly evidence based assessment of rehabilitation. As scientific instruments at a point in time cannot capture the whole extent of rehabilitation, a mixture of different surveys and assessments is required in order to provide mine sites with a comprehensive set of evidence for their rehabilitation efforts. The long timeframes involved in rehabilitation further amplify this issue, as some assessment parameters from one month to another are unlikely to change and may only be quantifiable over many years.

In order to address these issues, this project investigated techniques for tracking and predicting open cut mine rehabilitation success and compliance with set out rehabilitation objectives using ecosystem condition assessments and a microclimate monitoring approach coupled with forest growth modelling. The modelling is based on highly accurate microclimatic and ecological data as well as biodiversity habitat attributes specific to a mine area. This comprehensive data further provides regulators and mine managers with evidence for lease relinquishments and offers insights into operational measures that may assist a more effective rehabilitation and therefore lead to relinquishment based on the set out objectives.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C27039True Triaxial Strength Of Coal Measure Rocks And Its Impact On Roadway Stability And Coal Burst Assessment

Rocks in the ground are subject to a range of stresses. The stresses...

C3063Underground Vehicle Design Standards And Statutory Implications

The Australian underground diesel vehicle fleet has evolved since di...

C3064Conveyor Belting And Lagging Shear Characteristics - Drive Drum Slip

The primary aim of this project was to investigate the relationsh...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C29021Assessing The Impact Of Consecutive Night Shifts On Night-Time Alertness, Daytime Sleep And Timing Of The Circadian System

In the Australian coal mining industry, most guidelines for managing...

C33037Quantifying Recharge To Groundwater Systems In The NSW Coalfields (Sydney, Gunnedah And Gloucester Basins)

The purpose of this project was to estimate the rate of diffuse rec...

C26029Geological Controls On Fluorine And Phosphorus In Bowen Basin Coals

Increasing global restrictions on fluorine in product coal prompted ...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C27064Dry Beneficiation Using FGX And X-Ray Sorters

Conventional dry processing methods engage a single beneficiation de...

C26010Multi-Sloped Screening Efficiency With Changing Strokes, Frequencies, Feed Solids And Feed Rates-Pilot Plant Study

Optimising multi-sloped screens is often described as an art and the...

C28059Impact Of Water Quality In Coal Handling And Preparations Plants

The objective of this project was to deliver a concise reference do...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

C27054Optimisation Of A Thermal Flow Reversal Reactor For Ventilation Air Methane Mitigation

Ventilation air methane (VAM) generally accounts for 50-85% of the t...

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL) - Phase 2 Demonstration In A Packed Bed Reactor

An alternative approach to high temperature oxidation of ventilation...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook