The Rehabilitation of Open Cut Coal Mines in the Bowen Basin, Queensland
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1987
The Bowen Basin of Central Queensland covers a total area of 3 200 000 ha. The Basin has proven reserves of about 24 000 000 tonnes of coking coal and steaming coal which constitutes about 70 percent of the known coal reserves in Queensland. Large scale open cut coal mining in the Bowen Basin commenced at Moura in 1959. There are now 16 open cut mines operating in the Basin and they collectively mine through about 3000 ha of land each year. Most of the land which has been mined has previously been used for extensive grazing. No mining has yet taken place on cropping land although coal reserves underlie land which has been cropped or has potential for cropping. The primary objectives of almost all of the mining companies operating in the Bowen Basin are to rehabilitate mined land to a stable and productive form which is compatible with surrounding land use which is dominantly grazing. The acceptability of these objectives is considered against the prospect of mining of cropping land and the qualified success of the return of rehabilitated land to grazing uses.