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Rehabilitation

We’re dedicated to the responsible extraction and use of the mineral resource in a manner that respects the historical, cultural and environmental aspects any area where we operate.

Whatever we do, we’ll always endeavour to create a positive impact on both the regional and national economies.

As part of our commitment to good practice environmental management, we’ve devised a carefully-phased rehabilitation programme so any indigenous ecosystem can and will thrive after mining. The overall aim? To disturb as little area as possible for the shortest period of time. This approach is required during exploration, development and mining of an area – as opposed to large-scale rehabilitation after mining has finished.

One of the rehabilitation techniques employed on the Buller Plateaux is Vegetation Direct Transfer (VDT). This requires moving vegetation and soil directly from one site to another. We know this works as Stockton have already done this successfully to rehabilitate parts of the mine over the past decade.

 

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Rehabilitation: how does it work?

Vegetation Direct Transfer: A digger lifts the vegetation and immediate subsoil in one intact layer and transfers it to another site, resulting in immediate cover. Additional seeding and planting is then undertaken to boost the overall recovery of the transferred shrubs and plants. This technique has been used extensively at Stockton mine with excellent results in the rehabilitation of indigenous bush in high-altitude plateau environments.

We’re also committed to biodiversity o­ffset and compensation programmes to ensure a net conservation gain for any area.

At Escarpment, we’ve proposed a programme of predator management over 5,620 hectares of the Heaphy region with the Department of Conservation. This will be for at least 35 years and help protect and monitor populations of the great spotted kiwi.

At Takitimu, even though our mining – and associated land disturbance – is all on agricultural land, rehabilitation is still a vital part of the process. So any additional material from mining extraction is stored in separate stockpiles. These are later moved and revegetated which helps minimise erosion and reduces the spread of dust.

When the soil is reinstated in its original layers and reformed this always follows the pre-mining contours as closely as possible. Finally, after the site’s been stabilised, the topsoil is reinstated and sown back into the pasture. At this point the land use can be used for farming once again.