The Reefton Mine Rehabilitation Project is ambitious. Situated in the sub-alpine Victoria Forest Park conservation area, the project aims to re-establish ecosystems with indigenous species in a new post-mining landscape. The post-restoration areas will mostly consist of forested areas populated by beech species and complemented by native conifers, including rimu and miro trees.
The project delivery has been a multidisciplinary effort, with our site-based environmental specialist working closely with the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the West Coast Regional Council and the Buller District Council. First commencing in 2004, the restored area now encompasses an impressive 30.6 hectares of land.
“Everything has worked very well in the past few years and I have no doubt that the methods we use will be effective in the larger areas required to restore the whole mine site. The trial work and smaller scale planting that we completed earlier on in the mine life have contributed greatly to our success.” Duncan Ross, Environment Manager
In 2014 alone, the project team completed over 12.25 hectares of restoration which includes planting approximately 73,000 seedlings over 11.5 hectares. In 2015, a further 116,000 seedlings are expected to be ready for planting, enough to complete an additional 17 hectares of restoration. Early trials and detailed planning have proved invaluable to the team’s success and have enabled the gradual increase in the volume of seeds planted. This has allowed natural succession processes to take place and helped to re-establish the original closed canopy forest for the future.