Client name: BHP Billiton
Project value: $2.5 million
Contract period: 12 months
Background and scope
Having worked alongside BHP Billiton onsite to carry out the coal wash emplacement works, Simpson Earth then approached BHP Billiton with an innovative plan to rehabilitate the finished coal wash areas back to their natural bush setting.
This project presented a significant challenge; filling was required around an existing aboriginal heritage area. We carefully removed the caves and stored them while the area was filled to overcome this cultural hurdle. Once the area was complete, we carefully relocated the caves in the new area.
The project’s scope was extensive. Our team operated with cultural and environmental preservation at the forefront of all decision making.
Our methods involved topdressing the coal wash emplacement with the existing soils and vegetation from the valley and strategically placing logs, stumps and rocks to form pockets for new seedlings to nestle. We re-contoured batters and drains to allow for the water to filter down and run its natural course without scouring and washing out the new environment. Our team also created natural ponds which would entice animals and wildlife to return. As a result, the ponds led an array of reptiles, including goannas, lizards, frogs and small animals such as bilbies and birdlife, to return.
Once the project was complete, we reinstated access tracks for school excursions. The track allows students to visit the area and see first-hand how mining and the environment can coexist.
Simpson Earth’s rehabilitated emplacement project was award-winning, enabling BHP Billiton to set a standard for future emplacement areas.