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Progressive Site Rehabilitation with Terraced Landscaping

Sydney Construction Materials will utilise progressive rehabilitation by way of terraced landscaping, an innovative site rehabilitation technique not currently used anywhere else on the Newnes Plateau. As the surface miner progresses through the resource, 2-metre-wide benches will be left at every 3 metres of depth to provide a horizontal platform on which native flora species will be planted. Irrigation will be provided from mine seepage water. The first figure below shows a detailed cross-section of the intended terraced landscaping, indicating batter angles, bench widths, and bench heights.

This figure shows a detailed cross-section of the conceptual design for the progressive rehabilitation to be employed throughout the life of the SCM Project.

The second figure below shows how successful this rehabilitation technique has been in the past at other locations. It shows a quarry extracting friable sandstone that is similar to what the Newnes Junction site will look like during the course of extraction. This picture is of a Pioneer quarry project on the Somersby Plateau. The top row of vegetation is about 3 years old and the bottom row about 6 months old.

The above photo shows native tree & shrub seeding on sand quarry benches (6 months to 3 yrs old).

Reasons for engaging in progressive rehabilitation include:

• to minimise the potential visual impact of the mine throughout its life by providing a vegetated wall at all times,
• to reduce the rehabilitation task that would otherwise result at the end of the development's life,
• to allow for enhanced integration into the surrounding vegetation, and
• to minimise erosion and ensure landscape stability.

The progressive terraced landscaping of the walls will ensure that there will be minimal visual impact throughout the life of the development. The use of such a successful, innovative rehabilitation technique demonstrates Sydney Ccnstruction Materials' commitment to environmentally sustainable extractive operations.

Further details of the progressive landscaping technique can be found in section 6.2 of the Soil and Water Management Plan (GSS Environmental, 2004) (1,741 kB pdf) in the Supplementary Information section under Project Credentials.