Bendigo Mine Rehabilitation – Landform
Kangaroo Flat, New Moon, Eaglehawk mining and Woodvale Evaporation Ponds sites
Kralcopic Pty Ltd (Kralcopic), a wholly owned subsidiary of GBM Gold Ltd, previously held mining licences around Bendigo, which incorporated sites including Kangaroo Flat, New Moon, Eaglehawk and the associated Woodvale Evaporation Ponds Complex.
In August 2019, the Earth Resources Regulator decided not to renew Kralcopic’s three mining licences, due to the company’s inability to provide surety that it could finance its mining activities and site rehabilitation obligations.
In October 2020, the company filed legal proceedings in the Supreme Court challenging the decision not to renew these licences. The Supreme Court later upheld the regulator’s decision not to renew the licences.
On 23 April 2021, the Federal Court of Australia appointed KPMG as Kralcopic’s liquidators.
On 14 May 2021, the liquidator lodged papers with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to disclaim Kralcopic’s freehold land at Woodvale and parcels of land around the company’s former Bendigo sites, with the land to subsequently become Crown land.
The Earth Resources Regulator has put a statutory exemption in place to preclude new mining licence applications on the sites while we undertake rehabilitation. The exemption also provides an opportunity for government to consider future uses of the sites in consultation with the City of Greater Bendigo and the local community.
The Earth Resources Regulator holds rehabilitation bonds totalling $5.9 million, which it will use to rehabilitate the former sites.
Mine shaft repairs
In February 2023 a historic mine shaft within a fenced area at the Eaglehawk site collapsed exposing an area approximately 1 x 2 metres. Earth Resources Regulator acted immediately to install a temporary cover, and an additional fence with signage around the shaft and notified WorkSafe.
The shaft was identified within the Catherine Reef United Mine area, and is heritage listed. This area was subject to an archaeological dig in 2007 that uncovered several historical mining artefacts. For this reason and before any works could commence to rectify the site, Heritage Victoria had to be notified and provide their consent for the remediation works to take place.
Upon approval, Earth Resources Regulator set to work securing contractors to undertake the work, which was completed over two days. First, the area around the shaft was safely excavated before steel capping and concrete formwork measuring 4 x 5 metres was securely positioned over the shaft. Concrete was poured onto the formwork and left to set. The earth was backfilled to complete the works.
Swan Decline closed and history preserved
In a major rehabilitation milestone at Kangaroo Flat, the Swan Decline Bendigo’s primary gateway to underground mining, was permanently closed in December 2022. Important parts of Bendigo’s gold rush history were also preserved from the onsite office buildings with 19 boxes of records, and 1350 old photos being scanned and provided to the local historical societies and the Goldfields Library Corporation.
Volunteers from the Bendigo Historical Society also scanned approximately 40 bookshelves of newspaper clippings to assist with recording and preserving geological drilling locations.
Watch the project video update above to learn more about these and other rehabilitation milestones.
Independent EPA Appointed Environmental Auditors , Niboi Consulting and CDM Smith, have progressed their reviews of the rehabilitation plans for the Kangaroo Flat and Woodvale sites, respectively and Earth Resources Regulator is in the process of commissioning additional site investigations to finalise the rehabilitation programs for the sites.
Site monitoring and maintenance
Monitoring and maintenance activities continue at the former mining sites and will continue through to the completion of site rehabilitation.
In September and December 2021, December 2022 and again in February 2023 a polymer dust suppression cover was applied to the fine tailings dam at Kangaroo Flat to reduce dust at the site. The effectiveness of this cover is reviewed daily and any gaps addressed if and where required. The area covered is shown in the images below.
The coarse tailings dam has been fully covered with waste rock reducing the dust from this area as part of the site’s rehabilitation works, in accordance with the Kangaroo Flat Mine Closure Plan.
Videos show the application of polymer and no dust movement onsite during windy conditions, demonstrating that the application of polymer is effective.
Dust at the Woodvale Evaporation Ponds Complex is managed through a combination of water, vegetation and mulch cover.
The Earth Resources Regulator meets regularly with community representatives, the Woodvale Progress Association.
A specialist environmental firm has been engaged to conduct depositional dust monitoring at both sites to ensure that any potential dust issues are identified, minimised and managed effectively.
The monitoring also gathers baseline data to identify if and where further monitoring and investigation might be required ahead of earth moving rehabilitation works.
Samples are taken from multiple locations across the sites, to ensure the data is representative of the conditions of the site. A background monitor for each site has also been placed at a suitable location offsite to provide a background and baseline representation of local conditions. In addition, a weather station was installed at both Woodvale and Kangaroo Flat to provide local weather information that can be cross referenced with data collected from this site.
The dust monitoring reports are available to download for both Kangaroo Flat and Woodvale Ponds.
Accessible versions of the dust reports are being developed. Accessible versions of the latest documents can be provided on request by emailing ERRFeedback@ecodev.vic.gov.au
The former mine sites have been secured with locked gates and signs including regular patrols, and local service providers are being sought for site clean-up and rehabilitation activities.
The Earth Resources Regulator will continue to keep nearby residents and the wider Bendigo community updated about the rehabilitation of the former mining sites.
You can register your interest to receive updates on the rehabilitation of these former mining sites by emailing ERRFeedback@ecodev.vic.gov.au
We welcome your feedback.
Page last updated: 19 Oct 2023