As part of the obligations on Moreton Resources as an MDL holder, we must return the site to the state it was prior to our activities or as close as possible, prior to handing back the MDL and relinquishing our responsibilities. Currently our obligation is to have this done by February 2019, provided we do not intend to re-apply for tenure.
Through a new direction for the Company which saw a new Management and Board elected in late 2013, Moreton Resources have established a basic ethos of progressive rehabilitation and an understanding of the social license to operate. This resulted in a focus on the early and rapid rehabilitation of this site where possible.
Therefore in early 2014, Managing Director Mr Jason Elks travelled to the South Burnett region and through a number of community and stakeholder meetings, made several commitments to the Community. These commitments highlighted the Company’s intention to clean the site and begin rehabilitation processes where it made sense to do so.
On that basis, the Company committed to remove all above ground infrastructure that was not being used as a matter of priority, before Christmas 2014 (office complex and shed remain). In respect to the community’s strong stance and views on past activities and technology trials at the site, the Company also committed to not selling or reusing the equipment. Fulfilling the Company’s commitments to use local providers, regional contractors were engaged to scrap the above ground infrastructure, meanwhile certain tools and equipment were donated to community groups within the South Burnett.
This commitment was made in the second quarter of 2014 and was completed prior to Christmas of 2014. This closed out Phase 1 of the decommissioning of the project.
Following this, the Company then sort to rehabilitate the above and below ground infrastructure’s foot print, and therefore began Phase 2 of the rehabilitation project. At this point in time, Managing Director Mr Jason Elks made it clear to the community about the Company’s progressive rehabilitation ethos and our intent to move to a conventional mining operation provided our advancement studies supported such a project.
This led to over 25 companies express an interest in undertaking rehabilitation works which ranged from the removal of underground wells and monitoring equipment, through to the filling of dams and creation of final land forms, all with the intention of returning the site to a state as close as possible to it’s original form.
On that basis, a local South Burnett operator won the tender process and commenced rehabilitation work in the second quarter of 2015. Through commitments to land holders and community groups, the target for completion of this was mid-2015; however, the entire rehabilitation program was completed in the second week of June 2015, with seeding taking place in the suitable weather provided in September 2015.
The Moreton Resources Board and Management showed a very committed view that wherever possible, local services will be used for operations. The Company has always worked with, and had a very open and transparent relationship with the Department of Environment and Heritage, as well as local community stakeholders and landowners in the area. At Moreton Reources, we pride ourselves on operating in an open and transparent manner, ensuring that we respect our social license to operate and co-exist with the environment and communities. Therefore progressive rehabilitation and delivery of our commitments is a critical part of the way we operate.