Once stages one, two and three have been completed, mining can begin. First, surveyors stake out the boundary of the area to be mined. A clearing permit verifies that the area to be mined is within the active lease, has been cleared by the local Land Council and has the correct government permit to be mined. Now the pit development can begin.
To get our large machinery to the site, trees and vegetation must be cleared. As part of this process, a wildlife catcher carefully assesses the area for habitats and attempts to relocate any wildlife or nests that are present. Even after the initial relocation of wildlife, the wildlife catcher remains on site to continue monitoring for animals while trees and scrub are removed.
With a clear area now available, scrapers remove topsoil and subsoil from the mining area. QMAG’s preference is to return topsoil and subsoil directly to areas previously mined to maximise rehabilitation success. When this is not possible, topsoil is stockpiled next to the pit so it can easily be recovered and spread once mining is complete and the void refilled. Subsoil is sometimes used to create levees around the pit to protect the excavations from flooding.
In the final step of our mining pit development, dozers, scrapers or excavators remove overburden and low-grade magnesite. With one eye always on rehabilitation and sustainability, this material is immediately placed directly into a prior excavation whenever possible. When this is not possible, the overburden is stockpiled temporarily until it can be used to fill in a nearby mining void.
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