Investigation of Possible Beneficial Uses for Mine Voids in the Upper Hunter
A mine void is an area of excavation that remains after all rehabilitation of a mine is complete.
Rehabilitation happens progressively during mining, which means that exposed areas are backfilled, shaped and revegetated during the life of the mine. This is good for reducing dust and erosion, providing habitat for animals and returning land to other valuable uses like grazing.
Voids are created after mining because the rock and soil that is removed to reach the coal is placed at the back of the mine pit as part of this progressive rehabilitation process, leaving some land than cannot be completely filled.
We’re looking into the various ways mine voids can be rehabilitated to make a contribution to the region long after mining has ended. Our study into the achievable beneficial uses for mine voids will help the community to envisage the post mining future of these areas of the region, give the community a say about possible uses and provide the industry with realistic options.
The first part of the project will involve a review of re-uses of voids worldwide and look at potential options in light of the environmental, economic, social and regulatory context of the Upper Hunter.