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BAUXITE MINE REHABILITATION IN THE NORTHERN JARRAH FOREST

Vlahos, S. Bastow, B.B. Rayner, G.A.

Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd (Worsley) manages the Boddington Bauxite Mine located on the eastern edge of the Darling Range in the northern Jarrah forest of Western Australia. Crushed bauxite is transported 51 km by conveyor to the Worsley refinery. Current annual production is 7 Mt of bauxite requiring approximately 80 ha to be mined and rehabilitated each year. With expansion of refinery capacity to process 12 Mt of bauxite, mining and rehabilitation will increase to approximately 140 ha in the year 2000.

Prior to the commencement of mining operations a trial rehabilitation experiment in 1981 demonstrated that the then current rehabilitation techniques could establish a forest vegetation in rehabilitated bauxite pits. The first operational rehabilitation was carried out in 1986. Since the rehabilitation trial, incremental improvements in forest rehabilitation techniques have been implemented based on the results of ongoing monitoring and research conducted by both Worsley Alumina and within the mining industry as a whole.

This paper outlines the evolution of rehabilitation techniques at the Boddington Bauxite Mine.