Premier Coal has mined in the Collie Basin since 1950. Although the company operated small pits in the 1950’s and 1960’s, major open cut mining did not start until 1970, at the Western No. 5 Mine.
The Company is experienced and highly successful at rehabilitating completed mining areas. Revegetation commenced in 1975 and by 2004 1,702ha had been rehabilitated, representing 47% of the area disturbed by mining operations. At present, the annual program varies between 30ha and 200ha depending on clearing and mining progress. The plan is to rehabilitate at least as much as the annual clearing requirement.
The primary aim of Premier Coal’s rehabilitation programme is to establish stable, compatible landforms revegetated with local, native species. This will allow the original plant and animal communities to become re-established. The second aim is to leave a positive legacy for future generations – such as recreation areas or conservation outcomes.
Open cut operations in Collie currently result in a final void at the end of mine life. Careful mine planning is done to minimise the size of final voids through backfilling whenever possible. Inevitably, the style, scale and depth of operations requires some out-of-pit dumping, leaving a final void. Premier Coal is well ahead of current best practice with an approach, far beyond compliance requirements, establishing future value-added options for use of the areas.