The Impact of Undergoing Coal Mining in Farming

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
The proportion of coal production from underground operations in Queensland, is likely to increase in the future. A portion of this increase will come from mines working under farming areas. The degree of compatibility between underground coal mining operations and farming is examined. Two case histories are considered in detail. These relate to farming areas in the Moura and Emerald districts. Mining the Moura, area has been undertaken for the last two and half decades, while in the Emerald area, large scale underground coal mining is currently being planned. Interference to watercourses and water harvesting programmes, damage to crops, and ponding in cultivated areas have been experienced in mining areas. With expansion of underground mining in farming areas, the principle areas of likely conflict are the effects of surface subsidence on irrigation and erosion control structures. Other potential problems that may arise in particular circumstances include reduction in availability of water for harvesting, pollution, surface cracking and damage to surface structures. Finely textured soils and erratic and violent rainfall patterns make farming in central Queensland particularly vulnerable to severe soil erosion unless strict precautions are taken. Soil erosion control is an essential part of farming. Contour banks are used to ensure that runoff velocities are suitably low. Where steep slopes are encountered, grassing is the most effective way to prevent erosion.
Full Article Download:
(511 kb)