Onshore Environmental

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Services » Native Rehabilitation

Onshore Environmental has been directly involved with all aspects of mine rehabilitation over the past 20 years. Managing Director Dr Darren Brearley has a long history specialising in this field, including seven years of post-graduate research on hard rock mine sites in arid and semi-arid Western Australia, rehabilitation advisory roles at mineral sands mine sites in south-west Western Australia and western New South Wales, and wider rehabilitation consultancy throughout the South West and Pilbara bioregions.

Darren's Doctoral thesis completed in 2003 pioneered an accepted methodology for developing completion criteria and establishing realistic design and performance targets for gold and nickel mines in the Goldfields and Murchison regions of Western Australia. This methodology has been further developed in recent years and applied to BHP Billiton Iron Ore's Pilbara mine sites, the Yeelirrie Uranium Project south of Wiluna (previously held by BHP Billiton), Cristal Mining Australia's south-west and Murray Basin mineral sands operations, and Talison Lithium Australia's Greenbushes mining operation.

Onshore Environmental has provided a rehabilitation advisory role at the Talison Lithium Australia's Greenbushes mining operation since 2001, including aspects relating to landform design, waste characterisation, remade soil profiles, seed mixture composition and sowing rates, seedling propagation and planting rates, annual monitoring and reporting, and sign-off. This work culminated in the site being awarded the 2006 Golden Gecko Award for rehabilitation efforts across historical mine areas. The application was titled 'Greenbushes Mine Rehabilitation - The Changing Landscape. Reflecting Our Past, Present and Future'.

Dr Darren Brearley directed all aspects of rehabilitation planning and implementation at Cristal Mining Australia's south-west mineral sands operations over a ten year period between 2003 and 2012, including development and implementation of rehabilitation plans for the companies Murray Basin operations in western New South Wales. New site specific rehabilitation techniques were developed and successfully implemented, including translocation of in situ vegetation blocks onto prepared rehabilitation surfaces at the Jangardup Mine, reintegration of sand and clay fractions evenly throughout the remade soil profile at the Ludlow Mine, and utilisation of agricultural machinery to accurately apply low rates of glyphosate to selectively remove weeds from establishing native rehabilitation. Native rehabilitation outcomes achieved in State Forest at Jangardup and at the Ludlow State Forest are continually being recognised as world leading by visiting overseas dignitaries.

Onshore Environmental has recently completed native rehabilitation at the Augusta Boat Harbour, situated near Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia. The concept plan for the boat harbour was designed to protect a naturally occurring population of the Threatened Flora Kennedia lateritia which was recorded at the site during baseline flora and vegetation surveys by Onshore Environmental. The plan also identified areas where remedial rehabilitation could be undertaken to improve the in situ vegetation condition and incorporate revegetation of the Threatened Flora. The rehabilitation process was integrated with construction of the breakwater to maximise recovery of appropriate soil materials for utilisation in the rehabilitation. Native seed was collected from the site. After the second growing season, rehabilitation areas have integrated with adjacent undisturbed vegetation and are difficult to differentiate. At 17 months of age all completion criteria targets have been exceeded for all rehabilitation parameters.