PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland government has released the Abandoned Mines discussion paper, calling on public input on how to manage old mine sites.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham noted that from the gold rush of the late 1800s to the earliest days of coal, zinc, copper and lead, Queensland has had a rich mining history, which remains a major economic contributor.
“But with this rich history comes a legacy of old mine sites, which we are currently managing from a safety and environmental perspective.
“With mining technology evolving over the past century these old mines can also offer us opportunities to recommercialise them using contemporary practices and techniques to get them restarted,” Lynham said.
“Queensland is leading from the front in repurposing old mine sites, as demonstrated by the Kidston solar project as just one shining example.
"What was once the focal point of gold mining in Queensland is now a A$126-million solar farm, a gold mine for jobs and renewable energy in North Queensland.
“Similarly, after the disclaiming of the Texas silver mine, the government improved the site’s water management infrastructure to prevent any spillage into the surrounding environment and then facilitated the mine’s recommercialisation, with it being handed to a new mining company in October 2017.”
Lynham noted that Mount Chalmers, which has been managed by the government since November 2017, is another that could be re-purposed or re-used.
“Two discussion papers will be released for feedback on a range of reform ideas. One paper is for feedback on how we manage the state’s abandoned mine sites.
“The other paper is for feedback on how to monitor and manage risks with current mining operations that enter our care and maintenance, are disclaimed or change ownership.
“We’re seeking feedback from the community, all industries and traditional owners on how to continue to nurture the best possible rehabilitation and economic outcomes for Queenslanders.
“Whether it be re-purposing, recommercialising or re-mediating, this feedback will be vital in determining the path we take,” Lynham said.
Public submissions for the reports will close on July 16.