Environment and Community Excellence Awards - Metropolitan Mine

Metropolitan Mine wins NSW Minerals Council Environment and Community Excellence Awards for 2011

On 24 October 2011 Peabody Energy’s Metropolitan Mine was announced joint winner of the Environment and Community Excellence Award and outright winner of the People’s Choice Award at the NSW Minerals Council’s Environment and Community Conference in Wollongong.

Metropolitan took top honours for its innovative coal waste rock recycling project at the awards, which recognise industry commitment to leading environmental management and community engagement.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Dr. Nikki Williams announced the winners at a gala ceremony in Wollongong and said that the aim of the awards was to share best practice across the mining industry.

Metropolitan Technical Services Manager Greg Tarrant said Metropolitan was currently the only coal mine in Australia that recycles coal waste rock by storing it in disused underground workings.

“The waste rock is processed into a paste and pumped underground into abandoned workings,” he said.

“By 2015, the project is expected to eliminate the need to transport waste rock by trucks through the township of Helensburgh for surface emplacement.

“This will lead to significant local environmental and community benefits in relation to dust, noise, visual amenity, and reduced heavy vehicle traffic,” said Mr Tarrant.

Mr Tarrant explained there was potential for this technology to be used across the industry in the future.

“More broadly, the adoption of this technology by other mines may significantly ease the environmental management issues surrounding surface emplacement, for example by improving co-disposal methods and tailings dam management,” he said.

“As this technology develops, the emplacement of waste rock within the active mining zone of a longwall may reduce surface subsidence.”

This is the second NSW Minerals Council Excellence Award received by Metropolitan. In 2008 the colliery was awarded for its work around remediation of rock bars using polyurethane injection.