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Revegetation of gold oxide residue storage areas in the eastern jarrah forest in the south-west of Western Australia

McGrath, W.A., Bell, R.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-7756-3755 and Jasper, D.A. (2000) Revegetation of gold oxide residue storage areas in the eastern jarrah forest in the south-west of Western Australia. In: Soils 2000 : making our science more useable : proceedings of conference Muresk Institute of Agriculture, 11 - 13 July, Northam, WA, Australia pp. 68-73.

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Gold-processing residue produced at Boddington Gold Mine and Hedges Gold Mine 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. Treatments, such as gypsum and spreading of topsoil and gravel, have been identified that may improve conditions for vegetation growth by alleviating or decreasing the alkaline, saline, and sadie properties of the residue and increasing its hydraulic conductivity. The effectiveness of these treatments is now being tested in a large field experiment involving the growth of plant species endemic to the surrounding jarrah forest, as well as known salt and waterlogging tolerant species. The background and establishment of this experiment is the subject of this paper.

Ten months after application, 30 tonne of gypsumlha has contributed to a decrease in residue surface pH, salinity, and sodicity. Applying gravel in addition to topsoil has not improved plant vigour or foliage cover in relation to plots with 10 em of topsoil only. Factors that are causing better growth in the topsoil only treatment and the persistence of the effect are currently under investigation.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Australian Society of Soil Science Inc (WA Branch) and the Environmental Consultants Association (WA Inc.)
Copyright: © Australian Society of Soil Science Inc (WA Branch)
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