Mining in the coastal zone

Types and locations of mining

In Australia there are many mining sites, both inland and along coastal environments, but they cover less than 0.01% of the continent (Lewis et al. 1998). Figure 3.6 shows the locations of some Australian mines; most of these are inland, but a number occur along the coast. There are several coastal mines in Western Australia and on the western coast of Tasmania, where environmental controls on mining have been relatively unrestricted (Burton et al. 1994, Young 1996). Tasmania (with six major coastal mining locations) is prosperous in minerals, and many are exported (MRT 2000). There is also mining of heavy sands in Queensland (much of which is also exported), and several types of mining in New South Wales, where mining has been carried out along approximately 50% of the north coast (ACF 1981).

South Australia has had relatively little benefit from mining overall, contributing approximately 5.5% of overall production in Australia in the 1980s (McFarlane & Sheridan 1986). Mining is also less viable in economic terms, in

Figure 3.6 Mining locations and mineral processing and export in Australia

Mining locations and mineral processing and export in Australia

Victoria, but mining does occur for basalt, salt, sand, oil, gas, and limestone, but not necessarily along the coastal zone (DNRE 1998). Examples of coastal mining operations around Australia overall include open-pit nickel mining on the eastern coast of Queensland (Hore-Lacy & Webb 1996), bauxite mining on the Swan coastal plain in Western Australia, mineral sand mining in Shoalwater Bay, Queensland (Burton et al. 1994), mineral sand mining in Geographe Bay in Western Australia (Brooke 1996), copper mining in Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania (Young 1996), graphite mining near Port Lincoln in South Australia, salt production at Lake MacDonnell on the western coast of South Australia (DELM 1993), alluvial tin mining on Ringarooma River in Tasmania (Young 1996), a solar salt project at Onslow in Western Australia (EIA Network 1995), rutile-zircon-ilmenite mine near the silica sand mine on North Stradbroke Island (FCT 1999) in Queensland, heavy mineral mining in coastal forested zones (Agnes Waters-Middle Island-Hummock Hill Island) (FCT 1999), and heavy minerals mining at Beenup in Western Australia (EIA Network 1997).

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