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Revegetation of gold-processing residue storage areas in the eastern jarrah forest of South-West Western Australia

McGrath, W.A., Bell, R.W. and Jasper, D.A. (2000) Revegetation of gold-processing residue storage areas in the eastern jarrah forest of South-West Western Australia. In: International Conference on the Remediation and Management of Degraded Lands, 30 November - 2 December, Fremantle, Western Australia.

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    Abstract

    Gold-processing residue produced at Boddington Gold Mine (BGM) and Hedges Gold Mine (HGM), approximately 125 km south-west of Perth, is deposited in valley impoundments known as Residue Storage Areas (RSAs). These areas will be rehabilitated as part of the mine closure plans, though the rehabilitation prescription requires amendments to overcome those properties of residue that are unfavourable for plant growth. The residue generally has a very low hydraulic conductivity (2 x 10-2 m1day), high pH (9-10), salinity (EC 1:5 3-4 dS/m) and sodicity (62% exchangeable Na). Previous research by Murdoch University (Ho et ai. 1999) was used to prepare a draft revegetation prescription aimed at generating a sustainable ecosystem in the RSA. The amendments chosen as essential in this prescription were the addition of a soil covering to the RSA surface for plant establishment, and the application of gypsum at a rate of 30 or 60 t/ha to decrease pH and sodicity, facilitate flocculation, and improve permeability and the leaching of salts. This paper describes a large scale field experiment established to determine the effectiveness of these treatments and some preliminary results.

    Publication Type: Conference Item
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/11866
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