South32 has finished mining Longwall 17 in “Area 3b” in the Dendrobium Mine, which of course is on unceded Dharawal Country, and just north of the Avon Reservoir.
Your faithful friends here at POWA have trawled through the End of Panel report, and distilled some Dendrobium Damage for you. Spoiler alert: longwall mining is highly destructive, and South32’s contractors only appear to have surveyed a small part of the undermined (and adjacent) area.
The extracted longwall has a length of 1901 metres, a void width of 305m, and a maximum cutting height up to 3.9m.
During the extraction of Longwall 17, forty new surface impacts were identified.
- Thirty of these impacts were observed on natural features.
- The remaining ten impacts were observed on built features such as fire roads and other access tracks
Only two out of five Aboriginal cultural heritage sites located within the Subject Area were visited.
In summary — a bloody big longwall, and a suspiciously low number of identified impacts over such a large footprint.
Also, the surveyors identified ONLY FIVE cultural sites in the area – and only checked on 40% of them. We know first nations folks in the Illawarra refute this quantitative, piecemeal approach to evaluating the impact of mining on the cultural integrity of the landscape.
Stay tuned for update #2!
If you’re super keen and want to read the report yourself, you can find it here.