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soilrehabilitation

minerehabilitation

Rehabilitation | How we do it

The core of the rehabilitation business focuses on closing, re-shape, re-vegetate and re-establish agricultural productivity on mine land. Smaller precision rehab projects never get neglected as this is where we truly demonstrate our skills. We accomplish this by working closely with academics, consultants and various experts in the field.

What is mine rehabilitation
Mine closure is the period of time when the ore-extracting activities of a mine have ceased, and final decommissioning and mine reclamation are being completed. It is generally associated with reduced employment levels, which can have a significant negative impact on local economies. It is also the period when the majority of mine reclamation is completed, making the land safe and useful for other or original purposes again. Mine reclamation activities are undertaken gradually – with the shaping and contouring of spoil piles, replacement of topsoil, seeding with grasses and planting of trees taking place on the mined-out areas.

Care is taken to relocate streams, wildlife, and other valuable resources. As mining operations cease in one section of a surface mine, earthmoving equipment is used to reshape the disturbed area. Drainage within and off the site is carefully designed to make the new land surface as stable and resistant to soil erosion as the local environment allows. Based on the soil requirements, the land is suitably fertilised and re-vegetated with agricultural equipment. Reclaimed land can have many uses, including agriculture, forestry, wildlife habitation and recreation.

rehabilitation

Careful monitoring of the progress of the rehabilitation is done and usually prohibits the use of the land until the vegetation is self-supporting. The cost of the rehabilitation of the mined land is factored into the mine’s operating costs. Funds are kept with the department minerals and resources for rehabilitation purposes only. There is growing demand throughout the world to confront the issue of mine closure and to create successful and sustainable mine closure systems, as, according to IIED (2002), the pollution legacy makes the sustainability of mining activities difficult to achieve. Ideally, appropriate planning for closure of mining operations should be performed during the feasibility, design and permitting phases of a mine, and be improved during the operational life of the mine (Mudder & Harvey, 1999).

This approach has become the standard and is a required practice today. According to Robertson & Shaw (2005), there has been a global trend since the 80’s towards 'Designing for Closure', with environmental protection and closure measures being designed into existing mine operations, and being mandatory for opening new mines.  The lack of a complete or revised mine closure plan can result in severe environmental and economic consequences. Inadequate closure activities, water management, and waste rock disposal plans have prompted unexpected and, in some instances, unwarranted secondary Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) (Mudder & Harvey, 1999). Therefore through prior and progressive planning and implementation of measures, the costs and impacts on the environment can be minimized.

How we go about to help rehabilitate areas:

Landfix strive to finish what we have started by offering turnkey solutions. We believe that a holistic view of the planned solution is needed for the best outcomes.

The Process
  • First we do an audit and assessment on the environmental state of the injured area. This aligns the rehab-plan (if available) with practice.
  • We then design and compare the cut, earth fills and shaping of the land to that of the OGL (original ground level).
  • If every plan is signed off and approved by the client (mine) we start the earthworks with our team of earthmoving equipment.
  • After the shaping of the area is done the re-vegetation starts with specialised equipment such as hydro-seeders (this step is responsible for 80% of the success of reclamation).
  • Best practice techniques is followed to:
    - Reduced stormwater runoff volume and velocity.
    - Improved infiltration rate.
    - Improved soil water holding capacity.
    - Improved soil structural properties - soil structure, porosity, and texture.
    - Improved plant rooting depth.
    - Improved soil chemical properties - providing proper pH, carbon, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus levels.
    - Improved soil biology - activity by bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi, nematodes, protozoa, micro arthropod and earthworms.
    - Improved soil nutrient levels and nutrient cycling.
    - Improved potential for vigorous long term vegetation coverage.
  • The area is then managed for the time to ensure optimum results.
  • The whole process is monitored by a specialist team that gives feedback to clients
  • An economic viability study of the land is then drafted to assure the client that the area is productive again.
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