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James Purtill reflects on the key undertakings amassed during role as Commissioner

· 350 words, 1 minute read

Ahead of his highly anticipated keynote address at this year's Life of Mine Conference, James Purtill shares his key reflections during his role as Queensland's Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner.

The Queensland Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner (QMRC) role commenced on 11 October 2021. In the two years since its inception, Commissioner James Purtill and his team have visited over 70 mines, held hundreds of consultation meetings, and commissioned a range of technical papers on aspects of progressive rehabilitation and mine closure planning.

During our leading practice research work, we started pursuing several topics that stakeholders had sought greater clarity on during the foundational period for the Office of the QMRC.

We looked at ecosystem rehabilitation, regional biodiversity corridor modelling, mine void modelling, options for post-mining land uses of voids and cover systems design. We are also just beginning a project on grazing as a postmining land use.

It will come as no surprise to Life of Mine delegates that these topics have vexed researchers, industry, and regulators alike, and the take home messages from my keynote will be familiar:

  • Historical ecosystems are hard to restore on heavily disturbed mined lands – really hard.
  • When looking at the performance and trends in progressive rehabilitation across the industry, again we see patterns many will be familiar with
  • There are also clear challenges to more and better progressive rehabilitation too
  • Planning for the transition to post mining land uses is influenced by broad social and economic factors, making it difficult to achieve in practice. Mine rehabilitation cannot be easily decoupled from adjacent risks
  • The mine rehabilitation and closure task can provide new opportunities if we re-cast the paradigm

I look forward to presenting at Life of Mine 2023 and outlining some observations on the performance and trends in mine rehabilitation that we see in Queensland, as well as meeting delegates.

James Purtill

Life of Mine Keynote Speaker
Queensland Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner
Purtill has held numerous senior leadership roles in government including as Director-General of the Departments of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Energy and Public Works, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Queensland’s Environmental Protection Agency and Queensland Public Service Commissioner...

Hear James' keynote address by registering today for AusIMM's Life of Mine Conference 2 - 4 August 2023.
Register now

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