Grazing study on rehabilitated mining land in the Upper Hunter

June 05, 2014

Farmers, miners and representatives from the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Division Resources and Energy are amongst a group of 21 people who visited sites in the Upper Hunter that will soon be part of a grazing study on rehabilitated mining land.

“The Grazing Study is a key project being undertaken through the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue, which brings together local community and business groups, government, and local miners to address challenges relating mining in the Upper Hunter,” NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said today.

The Grazing Study will begin in June 2014 and over the next four years will investigate whether rehabilitated mine land can sustainably support productive cattle grazing in the Upper Hunter.

Cattle will graze on rehabilitated mine land and on un-mined sites (analogue sites) that have been chosen because they are representative of the area. Over the period of the study, the rehabilitated mine land and un-mined sites will be compared on factors including animal health, soil and pasture composition and economic outcomes.

Local farmers inspecting the sites have shown interest in the variety of grasses grown on the rehabilitated mine sites, including a number of tropical grasses not routinely used in the Upper Hunter. They have said they will follow with interest how these grasses perform and how they compare against the natural pasture on analogue sites.

“The Grazing Study is a great example of how local miners are collaborating with their neighbours in the Upper Hunter to collectively minimise the impacts of mining,” Mr Galilee said.

The Study has been designed by the Department of Primary Industries in collaboration with the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue Joint Working Group - Land Management, including representatives from agricultural groups, local farmers, environmental groups, state and local government and the mining industry. The study will be overseen by a Grazing Study Advisory Panel, which includes local farmers, Leonie Ball from Singleton Beef and Land Management Association and Wendy Bowman from MineWatch NSW.

The study sites are at Coal & Allied’s Hunter Valley Operations (analogue is the nearby Wandewoi property) and BHP Billiton Mt Arthur Coal (analogue in the adjoining Edderton property).  Cattle on both sites will be supplied and managed by the farmers who are leasing the study sites from Mt Arthur Coal and Coal & Allied.

You can find out more about the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue and other projects underway by visiting www.miningdialogue.com.au  

Contact: Chris Rath | crath@nswmining.com.au | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419

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