Authors: Fogarty, K; Kragt, ME; White, B

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Fogarty, K, Kragt, ME & White, B 2019, 'Pre- and post-mine land-use trends across the New South Wales and Queensland coal industry', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2019: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 937-950,

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Mining is a temporary land use and there is a need to transition to an acceptable land use after mining ceases. This typically includes grazing or reinstatement of native ecosystems present prior to disturbance (Doley & Audet 2013; Lechner et al. 2016; Maczkowiack et al. 2012). However, no published information exists that informs of the collective plans for the coal mining industry’s proposed post-mining land uses. This study uses publicly available information on pre-mine and proposed post-mine land uses for coal mines in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. We will discuss what pre-mining land uses are typically identified and how this definition changes post-mining. Terminology used by mining companies to describe their pre- and post-mine land use is also presented. This information will be useful to identify future beneficial land uses as well as support decision-making and policymaking at a landscape level. Results indicate that agriculture and biodiversity are the most commonly proposed post-mine land uses compared to agriculture being the dominant pre-mining land use. Sites also frequently nominated multiple post-mine land uses, with over 85% of sites nominating between one and three post-mine land uses. Sites tend to increase the number of identified land uses when nominating their post-mine land use compared to the number identified during pre-mining. Results also found limited evidence to suggest that operations are likely to revert to the pre-mining land use, with about half of sites planning to reinstate the pre-mining land use(s), even with additional land uses, after mine closure. Furthermore, it was observed that some mine sites tend not to provide an explicit statement or consider the utility of post-mining land use when detailing the post-mine land use(s).

Keywords: land use change, mine rehabilitation, mining land use terminology

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