Environment and Agriculture

Environment

KEPCO is committed to working sustainably and with respect for the communities and environments in which it operates.

KEPCO has implemented an extensive environmental monitoring program throughout its authorisations (A287 & A342). Collection of environmental monitoring data commenced in April 2011 and is being used to assess the baseline environmental conditions and set monitoring thresholds. KEPCO completed comprehensive environmental impact assessments in developing the Environmental Impact Statement for the Project.

Wherever possible, KEPCO has avoided potential environmental impacts and sought to improve environmental outcomes through significant modifications to the design of the Project. For example, a mine water management system is proposed to avoid the requirement to release mine-affected water into the receiving environment, and limit the requirement of the mine to extract from local water sources. The system will enable the optimal collection, use, recovery and recycling of water within the Project boundary.

A substantive Biodiversity Offset strategy has been prepared for the Project. The offset areas would be utilised for ecological conservation, with active regeneration of areas of native woodland and grassland to contribute to the preservation of native biodiversity in the region.

For more information, please refer to the Nature Conservation and/or Water Management fact sheets.

Agricultural Land Management

KEPCO has implemented active farming initiatives aimed at maintaining the agricultural viability of purchased properties. KEPCO has appointed a Farm Manager to oversee the agricultural aspects of KEPCO owned properties and has developed a Farm Management Plan and to best utilise the land for the life of the Project and beyond. This approach brings previously disparate farms under a single management strategy.

Current agricultural activities on KEPCO owned properties include:

  • Beef cattle grazing;
  • Fodder cropping; and
  • Irrigated cropping for hay and feed production.

The short-term nature of the Project’s proposed open cut mining activities means there will be minimal loss of agriculture production within the Project boundary. The Project will not affect the total productivity of agricultural within the Bylong Valley.

For more information, please refer to the Agricultural Land Management fact sheet.

Mine Rehabilitation

KEPCO is committed to rolling out an industry-leading rehabilitation program. Rehabilitation will be undertaken progressively, commencing in the third year of the Project to minimise the time land is removed from productive use. Areas within the Project’s disturbance footprint will be returned to agricultural land use as soon as possible following rehabilitation.

It is anticipated that the majority of open cut mining areas will be rehabilitated and returned to pre-mining landforms within 10 years of project commencement. The void remaining at the end of open cut mining will be progressively backfilled with reject materials from the processing of raw coal recovered from the underground mine operations. Overburden material and stockpiled topsoil will be used to create the final rehabilitated land surface.

KEPCO is aiming to reinstate agricultural land to the same or better quality than what is predicted to be disturbed by the Project.