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Environmental Management – Land Rehabilitation & Mine Closure

Environmental Management NoosaP4SD has provided Sherrin Rentals with policy and on-site technical advice to assist with the closure of the sand mine on Johns Road, Cooroibah, Noosa, Queensland. The services commenced with the production of a Site Based Environmental Management Plan, the generation of the Erosion and Sediment Control Management Plan and the Land Rehabilitation Plan. Technical back-up services in Erosion & Sediment Control auditing and Water Quality Monitoring steered the company to successful negotiations and works to close the sand mine.

Sherrin Rentals inherited a poorly operated sand mine in 2008 as part of financial settlement. The land and site was subject to a number of Environmental Protection Orders, one of which required the completion of an Environmental Investigation under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA, 1994). Water was escaping the site and draining to nearby wetlands and environs of Lake Cooroibah. Erosion and sedimentation was rampant and the land was spotted with kaolin dump pits.

Many of the poorly located and constructed sediment basins and water control ponds were failing and land-slips were a frequent occurrence.

P4SD worked with a number of technical sub-consultants to address: flood modelling, integrated water management, erosion & sediment control, biodiversity impact assessment, water quality management, geotechnical capabilities and options, among other operational requirements.

The sand mine was operated over a few years to finance the rehabilitation works that were required. In early 2014 the intended decision to work toward mine closure was put in action. The revised Site Based Environmental Management Plan, Erosion and Sediment Control Management Plan and Land Rehabilitation Plan – were utilized to steer final rehabilitation works. Over $1.5m was spent on final land rehabilitation works including soil re-conditioning, integrated water management and re-vegetation works. The sand mine was successfully closed in August, 2014.