NEW HOPE GROUP has been praised by Queensland Resources Council chief executive, Ian Macfarlane for the company’s work in rehabilitating land at its New Acland coal operations on the Darling Downs – and turning it into a successful pastoral property.
New Hope has received certification from the Queensland Government for 349 hectares of progressively rehabilitated land at New Acland – believed to be the largest area of land from an open cut coal mine ever to receive rehabilitation certification.
The rehabilitated land is now being operated for farming by New Hope’s pastoral operations arm, the Acland Pastoral Company (APC).
“New Hope has a resolute commitment to rehabilitating mined land and this is another example of the company’s leading practices when it comes to the sustainability of mining in regional Queensland,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“I applaud New Hope and the high standards set by its rehabilitation team who have achieved the largest single area of certified rehabilitation for an open cut coal mine in Queensland.”
New Hope managing director Shane Stephan welcomed the government’s recognition of New Hope’s ongoing commitment to the environment and the long term sustainability of its operations across regional Queensland.
“I congratulate our environmental and operational teams on site for their dedication and continued demonstration of the high standards they set in the progressive rehabilitation of mined land at our Acland operations,” Mr Stephan said.
“I’m proud to say that this is the largest single area of certified rehabilitation for an open cut coal mine in the state. To put the size of the area in context, for those who haven’t seen our operation at New Acland, this certification covers an area of around 300 Suncorp Stadiums.
“And the majority of it already has cattle grazing on it – right up against mining operations.”
Mr Stephan said New Acland mine’s progressive rehabilitation methods go above and beyond what the environmental regulator requires – some of the highest environmental standards in the world.
“Once the pasture on our rehabilitated mined land is well established it is fenced off and handed to our pastoral operations Acland Pastoral Company (APC),” Mr Stephan said.
“This rehabilitated land has been a saviour for our pastoral operations which had been experiencing drought conditions.
“Apart from being the right thing to do as custodians of the land – it also makes good business sense to rehabilitate to this high standard and have economically viable productive land as soon as possible behind mining operations.
“This is a clear and practical demonstration of the successful co-existence of mining and agriculture.
“We are committed to sustainable environmental practices, including this world-class rehabilitation, which ensures our land is returned to environmentally and economically sustainable land use as mining completes.”
QRC’s Mr Macfarlane said, “Queensland’s resources industry adheres to world-class environmental standards with a strong focus on the rehabilitation of land post-mining. This commitment is delivered through the resources industry’s close and productive partnerships with other land users and local communities.
“The Queensland resources industry is committed to sustainable environmental practices, including rehabilitation, which ensures our resources are developed to our best advantage both for local economies and for all Queenslanders.”