Black Diamond coal mine one of four to be rehabilitated

Black DiamondThe Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) corporate executive visited the legacy Black Diamond coal mine and its pit lake during a trip to Collie on Monday.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion announced last week that Black Diamond is one of four pilot sites recommended for gazettal as an abandoned mine under the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012.

The other sites recommended by the Mining Rehabilitation Advisory Panel were Elverdton near Ravensthorpe, the ProForce site near Coolgardie, and an abandoned tailings storage facility at Bulong, east of Kalgoorlie.

Department of Mines and Petroleum Director General Richard Sellers explained that the executive visited Black Diamond to view the proposed rehabilitation for the site under the provisions of the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF).

“Under the legislation, interest generated on the fund can be used to rehabilitate legacy abandoned mine sites throughout the State,” Mr Sellers said.

“DMP will consult and work with stakeholders to develop a rehabilitation strategy for the Black Diamond site.

“Neighbouring landholders and the Shire of Collie will be consulted to ensure that the rehabilitation strategy and end land use meets the needs of landholders and the broader community.”

Gazetting a site as abandoned is the first step towards being able to rehabilitate it under the MRF in the future.

“Future works on these pilot sites will provide detailed information that will contribute to the review of the MRF that’s currently scheduled for 2017,” Mr Sellers said.

The department is working on a policy for abandoned mines which will incorporate expert input from the advisory panel.

Coal mining took place at Black Diamond between the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Minimal rehabilitation work was undertaken after mining ceased as it wasn’t a requirement at the time and the pits have since filled with water to create pit lakes.

Since the 1980s, mine operators have been required to undertake rehabilitation of a site once the mining operation ends.

The department requires detailed mining proposals and mine closure plans before any activities are approved so that there will be no new legacy sites for future generations.

This is intended to ensure that the government will not be called upon to rehabilitate legacy sites in the future.

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