Evaluation of Coal Rejects as an Alternative to Topsoil at the Curragh Open-Cut Coal Mine: A laboratory column leaching experiment and field monitoring
Edraki, M; Menzies, N W; Grigg, A
26th Minerals Council of Australia Environmental Workshop
Minerals Council of Australia
Type of article:
open cut mines; Curragh mine; Queensland; spoil characterisation; spoil chemistry; topsoil; monitoring
Author Address: Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD, 4072
Curragh Queensland Mining trialled coarse coal rejects (CCR) as a surface mulch over spoil materials for rehabilitation purposes between 1988 and 1992. A total of 40 ha was established using CCR, applied in strips 10 m wide alternating with strips of replaced topsoil. Successful establishment of native tree and shrub species on CCR was encouraging, due in part to reduced competition from introduced pasture grasses. However, a disadvantage of CCR used in this context is the potential to generate high salt loads and acid during weathering, which may have a subsequent negative impact on both established vegetation and secondary regeneration. The mine therefore initiated a research program to evaluate the long-term implications of using CCR, some outcomes of which are reported here.