As part of the mine operations plan for the Boggabri Coal Mine, Idemitsu Boggabri Coal committed to monitoring the impacts on biodiversity prior to and during the construction and operations of its mine. The mine produces up to seven million tonnes per annum of saleable coal with an anticipated mine life until 2033.
The mine is located adjacent to and within the Leard State Forest. The area is zoned for mineral extraction, forestry, and recreation. In the 1980s it was logged in anticipation of future mining activities.
Establishing an Effective Monitoring Program
Idemitsu Boggabri Coal engaged WSP to establish and implement the biodiversity monitoring program. We have completed this monitoring program annually now for over a decade.
Our team established a Beyond Before/After and Control/Impact (BACI) design, which includes four monitoring sites within Leard State Forest (the potential impact location) and four sites in each of two reference locations (Vickery State Forest and Kelvin State Forest). The variables we measure at each of the sites includes:
- Vegetation – species richness (native and exotic)
- Birds and bats – species richness and individual numbers
- Invertebrates – species diversity (Berger-Parker index)
Long-term Analysis and Sound Advice
We conducted the survey over two periods prior to the start of mining. Since mining began, we have monitored the biodiversity at the sites over nine periods. Our team uses univariate (ANOVA) and multivariate statistical procedures (nMDS, ANOSIM, SIMPER) to analyse data from each site. Our data collection includes tree canopy, height, diameter, detailed vegetation quadrats and coarse woody debris.
Our team continues to provide general ecological advice and additional ecological impact assessments. This includes pre-clearance supervision and pre-clearance reports for all projects across the mine site.
Preserving the Region’s Biodiversity
The results of our regular biodiversity monitoring help Idemitsu Boggabri Coal to identify and manage any potential ecological impacts from its operations. It also enables the organisation to track the success of initiatives such as the translocation of species during clearing and the use of nest boxes.
Ultimately, our work helps Idemitsu Boggabri Coal deliver on its commitment to preserve the region’s biodiversity.