Meandu Mine gets tick of approval for the largest area of native vegetation rehabilitation in Queensland

21 February 2022

Stanwell’s Meandu Mine has received approval from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science, certifying that approximately 153 hectares of land at the mine has been rehabilitated. This marks the largest native vegetation rehabilitation area approved in a single application in Queensland.  The area is equivalent to the size of approximately 10 Brisbane City Botanic Gardens.

The newly certified area forms part of a total of nearly 600 hectares which has been rehabilitated at Meandu Mine since 1989. The area has seen native animals including wallabies, possums, bandicoots, native birds, bats, reptiles, invertebrates and other native marsupial species make the site their home.

Stanwell Chief Executive Officer, Michael O’Rourke, said rehabilitation was an essential part of responsible mining, and Stanwell had taken the extra steps necessary to regenerate native vegetation, which was one of the more difficult forms of rehabilitation to achieve.

“Our progressive rehabilitation approach at Meandu Mine minimises the active area of our mining operations at any point in time and ensures that land can be successfully returned to a native eucalypt woodland, similar to the Yarraman State Forest and Tarong National Park bordering the site,” he said.

“To our knowledge, this is the largest native vegetation area ever approved in a single application in Queensland.

“One of our company values at Stanwell is ‘We care’, so to us, rehabilitation is more than just ticking boxes. Certified native vegetation is not easy and receiving formal certification takes years to achieve, but it is the right thing to do to return the land back to its natural state.”

Stanwell’s environmental team worked closely with regulators to restore a native ecosystem consisting of species best suited to Meandu’s climate and conditions, planting a rehabilitation seed mix made up of 25 native tree, shrub, and groundcover species, and 10 native grass species.

It has taken the team at Meandu Mine between seven and 23 years, since the time of seeding, to develop a matured rehabilitated site that is safe, stable, and sustainable.

Until recently, Stanwell’s only planned post-mining land use for rehabilitated areas was to serve as a native ecosystem. Stanwell General Manager Mining, Jacob Orbell, said Stanwell would also be exploring the viability of two additional post-mining land uses for future rehabilitated land at the site,following recent ideas and feedback from local landholders in community forums and one-on-one meetings.

“Grazing and plantation forestry could potentially form some parts of our future rehabilitation at the site, as they provide local opportunities for commercial operation of the land after mining,” he said.

“Feedback from our community has also led to the consideration of retaining some access tracks and water storage infrastructure on site for post-mining land use.

“Our people work and live in the communities in which we operate. They care about ensuring a high standard of rehabilitation is delivered so that a proud legacy will endure when the time comes for life after mining.”

Meandu Mine is essential to the operation of its neighbouring Tarong power stations which provides reliable and affordable electricity for Queensland.

Learn more about Stanwell’s approach to rehabilitating Meandu Mine here.


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