Australian-first waste rock recycling
October 31, 2011

When coal is mined, it is washed to produce a higher quality coal. The washing process results in a waste rock material that cannot be used as coal, like shales and siltstone.

 

Waste rock from Metropolitan Mine near Helensburgh had been used to support town infrastructure in the construction of sports fields and netball courts. From the mid 1990s the waste rock was transported to an off-site facility, but this created environmental issues of noise and dust as the trucks went through a nearby town.

 

Peabody Energy Australia is storing the waste rock in the old underground workings and eventually they won’t have to truck the waste away from the site at all.

 

Since May 2011 a trial has successfully recycled some 5,000 tonnes of coal mine rejects underground. This new technique has been recognised for its benefits to the environment and the community and was a joint winner of the NSW Minerals Council’s 2011 Environment and Community Excellence Award.

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