Mine Site Rehabilitation

Mine rehabilitation involves many levels of understanding complex issues relating to ecosystem function. The nature of disturbance needs to be understood in terms of its severity and periodicity in order to evaluate the net effects on the landscape.

Experts such as Tongway and Ludwig (1996) have demonstrated that restoring productive soil patches boosts landscape rehabilitation.
 Topsoil restoration is accelerated through microbial inoculation
  • Bio-active restoration
  • Ecologically sound and proven technology
  • Low-cost approach
  • Building long-term ecosystem resilience
 Index to rehabilitation outcomes (Tongway and Hindley, 2004)
  • Landscape stability
  • Improved infiltration and water retention
  • Long-term establishment soil nutrient cycling
  • Improved re-vegetation outcomes
Following disturbance, exploitation of soil biological communities (SBCs) can accelerate recovery and a return to landscape function. Worldwide in deserts, rangelands and savannahs, SBCs are found growing on and within the first few centimetres of the soil surface. Bacteria and algae are often the first colonisers of disturbed soils. Large-scale trials conducted in China have demonstrated multiple  advantages of SBC re-establishment through the application of inoculum (e.g. Wang et al., 2009).
In Australia, a significant proportion of mining occurs in arid environments, where the removal and disturbance of SBCs impacts soil stability, infiltration and nutrient cycling that result in a shift in landscape function. Application of SBC inoculum to accelerate mine rehabilitation provides an innovative, low-cost approach to the return of landscape function.



  • Development of inoculation techniques
  • Outcomes directed at the need bio-active inoculum
  • Large-scale applications targeted
  • Mine-site trial sites provide templates
  • Commercial-scale SBC inoculum production
  • Measurable outcomes

Research papers

Can we kick start Cyanobacteria – Doudle and Williams

Mine rehab 1 - disturbance

Highly disturbed soils after scalping from mine operations are re-established after SBC inoculation (insets)

SBC inoculum well integrated into topsoil profile (lab) illustrating binding and stabilising attributes of cyanobacteria

SBC innoculum will integrated into topsoil profile (lab) illustrating binding and stabilising attributes of cyanobacteria









Mine Site Rehabilitation

Further information requested on mine site rehabilitation