At Malabar we believe in establishing and promoting good environmental practices in all activities and decision-making processes. We maintain a risk-based approach to managing environmental impacts to achieve a level as low as reasonably practical whilst promoting a culture of sustainability and social responsibility throughout our organisation.
Malabar maintains Environmental Management Plans that together form the Environmental Management System for our operations. These plans outline the controls to maintain a high level of compliance with our environmental obligations and ensure our statutory requirements are fulfilled.
Malabar is committed to the effective management of our water resources to minimise the use of water from external sources across our operations. We recognise that water is a highly valued, shared and finite resource and acknowledge stakeholder interest in how we manage and use this resource.
Malabar maintains a Water Management Plan for all activities. The water management system is a closed system that does not actively draw water from external surface water sources. Dams and voids from historical mining practises store water. Most of the surface water runoff around the site is captured within the voids and then incorporated into the site water management system for reuse or storage on site. The water is currently used for dust suppression on unsealed roads and vehicle was down processes. When the Maxwell Underground Mine is operating, it will draw water from the existing dams and voids. No water is required to be drawn from the Hunter River for the entire life of the Maxwell Underground Mine.
Stock dams are located on both natural land and rehabilitated land that is suitable for grazing.
Malabar is committed to establishing and maintaining processes to minimise land disturbance and achieve a safe, stable and non-polluting final landform.
Our overall objectives include:
- Minimising potential environmental impacts and liability.
- Creating a stable post-mining landform that is compatible with the surrounding landscape, and that is capable of productive land use that achieves the nominated land capability.
- Establishing vegetation that is self-sustaining, is perpetual and provides a sustainable habitat for local fauna and successive flora species.
- Creating a post-mining landform that enhances the local and regional habitat corridors.
- Developing land uses that are sustainable and benefit the future use of the site for the local community.
Over 800 hectares of rehabilitation has been undertaken. This rehabilitation involved reshaping overburden and exposed areas then seeding with native woodland or pasture seed mixes, and tree planting.
Over the past two years activities onsite included:
- Two tree planting programs were undertaken during 2019, with a total of 22,000 trees planted across 21 hectares of rehabilitated land located within the conceptual woodland corridor.
- In consultation with an agronomist and ecologist, Malabar have reviewed the pasture and woodland seed mixes to target species likely to occur in the area and compatible with the local climatic conditions.
- We have used soil ameliorants such as gypsum, biosolids and mulch to increase soil organic matter, improve soil nutrient levels and promote vegetation growth.
- We commenced a grazing trial of pasture on mine rehabilitation to increase the diversity of grass species.
Rehabilitation monitoring will track the progress of rehabilitation against the relevant approved completion criteria.
Air Quality and Emissions
Malabar is committed to implementing all practical measures to maximise air quality by minimising emissions at its operations.
Malabar maintains an Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Management Plan and a Spontaneous Combustion Management Plan. The air quality management system includes a comprehensive set of both proactive and reactive control measures and monitoring tools. All air quality monitoring is undertaken in accordance with the statutory requirements associated with the Development Consent, Environment Protection Licence and relevant Australian Standards.
Malabar undertakes monitoring of GHG emissions to ensure that these emissions are kept to the minimum practicable level. In accordance with National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER Act), Malabar regularly quantifies GHG emissions attributable to its operations, including emissions from fuel and electricity consumption. Although active mining has ceased at the Maxwell Infrastructure site, progressive rehabilitation activities continue to be undertaken to meet the final landform designs. As the rehabilitation phase continues, Malabar will continue to investigate and evaluate opportunities for improving greenhouse and energy performance.