Mining Land
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Maximising the Value of Disused Mining Land

March, 2017

CQUniversity research officer Fleur Morrish is seeking primary producers from the Bowen Basin to attend sessions will yield key recommendations on what could be done to maximise the value of the disused mining land for subsequent land users and to their local communities and, more broadly, the regional economy.

Those interested would need to commit to one or two workshops (prefer attending both, but will take single attendance too) where we are seeking land owner/ rural producer ideas on how best to transfer land back to agricultural use after the closure of mines.

In participating in these workshops, you need an interest in the topic, and some ideas on how the process of transferring disused mining land back to sustainable and productive agricultural land could work. There's 3 hours work before the free lunch, and they will be asking for you to contribute your thoughts (through the use of clickers to onscreen questions).

Workshops will be held at the International Coal Centre, Blackwater, from 9am - 12 noon, followed by lunch. They will be held on April 27 and May 25 or June 1 (to be confirmed).

In rehabilitating mines, miners are legislated to ensure the disused mine is safe, stable, non-polluting, and able to sustain alternate land use to its benefit - ie sustain profitable agricultural use. Ecology, soils and hydrology requirements fall within these legislative demands.

The types of questions that will be posed include:

• what would rural producers need done to turn the mining areas back to productive grazing land?

• how would this land be landscaped, and would it cover the entire mine - including pits and tailing areas?

• Or should some areas be fenced off (whether permanently or for longer periods) while others used by rural enterprise?

• Could the entire mine site be used for rural production - or would some areas (related to above) not be considered productive?

• Bearing in mind the land use (for agriculture) needs to be sustainable (therefore long-term profitable), how might this occur?

• Land transfer questions: ownership - should the mine be offered to those rural properties that used to include the mines, first?

• Or should the mine lands be offered as first starter blocks, or put to tender to any property currently adjoining the mine, or out to open auction/tender?

• Land transfer process/timing: in what situation would the rural producer taking ownership want to take early control of the land, while the mine still retains ownership/ Eg, a right to occupy/lease. ie, there could be some parts of the mining land that could transfer earlier than others - what would the rural producer need to have in place for this?

• What infrastructure requirements are there for the rehabilitated mining land?

• Any thoughts on the staggered transfer of the land and how else this could be done - eg, would carbon income be worth pursuing (bear in mind if bank funding was required for the land purchase, early review of your bank's attitude to such a carbon project would be required).

For further information or to express interest in attending, contact Fleur Morrish 0439 790 286 or email: fleurm@live.com.

 

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