1st Edition

Mining in Ecologically Sensitive Landscapes

By Mark Tibbett Copyright 2015
    286 Pages
    by CRC Press

    Mining in Ecologically Sensitive Landscapes explores the interface between geology and botany, and mining and conservation. Many areas of unusual geology that contain ore-bearing bodies also support unique ecological communities of plants and animals. Increasing demand to exploit rich mineral deposits can lead to a conflict between mining and conservation interests in such landscapes.
    This book brings together experts in the field of mining and conservation to grapple with this pressing issue and to work toward a positive outcome for all. Chapters are grouped into four themes: Introduction, Concepts and Challenges; Endemism in Ironstone Geosystems; Progress in Bauxite Mining; and Ways Forward.
    The book focuses on natural and semi-natural ecosystems, where landscape beauty, biodiversity and conservation value are at their highest measure and the mineral wealth they contain can bring affluence of regional or even national importance. Examples of conflicts ranging from threatened floristic endemics to human ecology are included, from Africa, the Americas and Australasia.
    Mining in Ecologically Sensitive Landscapes is an important reference for environmental managers, NGOs, restoration ecologists, academics, undergraduate and postgraduate students of ecology and environmental studies, conservation biologists, as well as mine managers, mining environmental specialists, consultants, regulators, and relevant government departments.

    List of contributors
    Technical reviewers

    Introduction, concepts and challenges

    1 Mining in ecologically sensitive landscapes: concepts and challenges
    Mark Tibbett
    2 Mined land reclamation in the Appalachian coalfields: a case for an ecosystem reclamation approach
    James A Burger
    3 Hidden costs of mining in ecologically sensitive areas
    Howard D Smith

    Endemism in ironstone geosystems

    4 Iron geosystems: priority areas for conservation in Brazil
    Claudia M Jacobi, Flavio F do Carmo, Felipe F do Carmo and Iara C de Campos
    5 Flora and vegetation surveys of the ironstone ranges of the Yilgarn Craton
    Neil Gibson, Rachel Meissner, Adrienne S Markey and Wendy A Thompson
    6 Lessons drawn from iron ore mining in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia
    Robert K Howard

    Progress in bauxite mining

    7 Mining and ecological restoration in the jarrah forest of Western Australia
    John M Koch
    8 Recovery of terrestrial orchids in natural ecosystems after severe disturbance
    Margaret Collins and Mark Brundrett
    9 The mining-restoration system and ecosystem development following bauxite mining in a biodiverse environment of the seasonally dry tropics of Australia
    Alister V Spain, Mark Tibbett, Dieter A Hinz, John A Ludwig and David J Tongway

    Ways forward

    10 Key values of metallophytes for the minerals industry in Australasia
    Antony van der Ent
    11 A collaborative approach for mining, environment organisations and Traditional Owners to manage and conserve biodiversity in Australia’s Great Western Woodlands
    Alexander WT Watson, Simon Judd, Wayne O’Sullivan and James EM Watson



    Professor Mark Tibbett is a plant and soil scientist with over 25 years’ experience in research and teaching. He specialises in element cycling and plant–microbe–soil interactions with particular interest in soil microbial ecology, mycorrhiza and the rhizosphere. Having completed postdoctoral, academic and industry appointments in the UK, he spent 10 years in Australia at CSIRO Land & Water and as the director of the Centre for Land Rehabilitation at the University of Western Australia. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed scholarly articles, is the Co Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Soil Research and an associate editor of the Australian Journal of Botany and Restoration Ecology. He was an instigator and remains a co-chair of the global ‘Mine Closure’ series of conferences. He is currently Professor of Soil Ecology at the University of Reading, UK.

    ...... it is timely to see this multi-authored edited volume primarily directed to professional practitioners and academic researchers working in the field of land rehabilitation and ecological restoration in sensitive areas impacted by mining activities and the minerals industry more generally.

    ..... A final chapter demonstrates how a collaborative approach from mining companies, environmental organisations and traditional land owners has worked to manage effectively and conserve biodiversity in the Great Western Woodlands of Australia. It is a very appropriate finale, emphasising the need for ongoing dialogue between stakeholders from the inception of a mining plan through to restoration or reclamation and thereon to future management for conservation.

    .......this is a book of immense value which should surely find a place on the bookshelves of mining environmental managers, consultants, NGO’s, government departments and university libraries.

    Professor Alan J M Baker, The University of Queensland and School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne, Australia.