Media Releases | 19th Aug, 2015

Anglesea coal mine closure plans unveiled under Freedom of Information


19 August 2015

Alcoa’s rehabilitation plans for the Anglesea coal mine and power station, which were obtained following a Freedom of Information request, have been published by Environment Victoria for the first time today.

The key document released is the current Work Plan for Alcoa’s Anglesea site, which includes plans for rehabilitation and site closure.

Environment Victoria Safe Climate Campaign Manager Nicholas Aberle said today:

“With public consultation about the future of the Anglesea site about to start, it’s important that there is as much transparency as possible and that the community has access to all the information they might need.

“The documents demonstrate the importance of successfully restoring the Anglesea site. It is home to 620 native plant species, including 50% of Victoria’s orchid species.

“Alcoa has recognised that they need to have criteria to determine the success of their rehabilitation and closure activities, but the current work plan has not established what these criteria are. A key part of the community consultation should be asking residents what their criteria for success are.

“Without clear criteria for success on mine rehabilitation and site closure, there is no accountability.

“Alcoa seems to be taking their closure responsibilities seriously, which is encouraging, and there are details in their Work Plan that seem to be largely absent from corresponding documents for the Latrobe Valley mines.

“Ensuring thorough mine rehabilitation will be a critical task for the state government in coming years and decades. The Anglesea process is an opportunity to start on the right foot and involve the community in setting the criteria against which rehabilitation and closure works will be judged.”

Key points from the documents include:

  • Alcoa’s current objective for site rehabilitation is “to establish a diverse, self-sustaining heathy woodland ecosystem that maintains or enhances the surrounding land use such as conservation, recreation and natural values” (page 57).
  • The final slope of the land will be 18 degrees, leading into a lake at the bottom (page 58).
  • Air pollution and water discharge limits are listed on pages 88 and 90, respectively.
  • Alcoa was required to have a Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) management plan that followed industry best practice (page 92).
  • The site contains 620 native plant species, including 79 species of orchid (50% of Victoria’s orchid species) (page 104).
  • Alcoa notes that their responsibility for the site should not cease until the stability of the works and the regenerative capacity of the ecosystem has been demonstrated (page 145).
  • Alcoa notes the importance of understanding current closure and decommissioning costs, in the event of unexpected closure (page 150).
Click here to download the Alcoa Work Plan.
Click here to download the Alcoa Land Management Plan.


For comment or further information:
Dr Nicholas Aberle, Safe Climate Campaign Manager, Environment Victoria – 0402 512 121