It seems that rehabilitation of the final void is going a little too far in terms of “best-practice ecological rehabilitation” of mined lands. — Try to locate the ore piles and places where material was stored as it was taken out of the shaft.
"As the owners of the largest mines come under financial pressure, close attention needs to be paid to the ongoing phenomenon of mine abandonment in Australia.". These old mines were abandoned for a large variety of reasons. According to the NSW Auditor-General, as of 30 June 2012 there were about 573 derelict mine sites in NSW (including gold and other minerals, as well as former coal mines). —
NSW Forestry Commission roads today follow the same spurs as the old trail from the Currowan landing, past Currowan mine and the branch to the Phoenix mine. Very little government funding is available for their ongoing management, let alone their rehabilitation. Sometimes they were simply “mined out,” having most of the gold mined out of them to a point where they were no longer profitable to work. In advice issued to the commission, the Department of Planning has revealed it is “not aware of the total size” of existing and approved voids in the Hunter. In my view, this would not be needed if the industry and regulators were doing the right thing for the community and the environment by requiring that these features be filled in. It is much safer to explore the outside of the mine. If you have the appropriate training and do end up going in a mine shaft, scanning the inside walls of the shaft can help you locate gold veins and pockets that may not have been visible to the early miners who lacked this technology. It is 4.5 kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide. So, it enabled us to do a little bit more with contouring and developing natural land form at quite a palatable cost," he said. Associate Professor Environmental Science, University of Newcastle. BHP Billiton would not allow Lateline to visit its site, but provided photos projecting how some of the area will look after 15 years of rehabilitation.
The NSW Department of Planning has estimated it would cost at least A$2 billion over the life of the mine to completely fill the void, and said it would “not be reasonable to impose a condition that requires Rio Tinto to completely or even partially backfill the final void”. This has been a long-running issue. Plus, you can often locate high-grade gold ore nearby without having to venture underground.
Sometimes they were simply “mined out,” having most of the gold mined out of them to a point where they were no longer profitable to work.
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