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Prepared for Mt Thorley Operations Pty Limited June 2014

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untitledMount Thorley Operations 2014 Environmental Impact Statement Prepared for Mt Thorley Operations Pty Limited June 2014
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www.riotinto.com.au
Appendix A Appendix B Appendix C Appendix D Appendix E Appendix F
Appendix K Appendix L
Appendix G Appendix H Appendix I Appendix J
Schedule of land
Secretary’s requirements
Visual amenity study
VOLUME 3 Appendices G to J
VOLUME 4 Appendices K to L
VOLUME 5 Appendices M to O
Executive Summary Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Abbreviations References
VOLUME 2 Appendices A to F
VOLUME 1 MAIN REPORT
Existing operations
Legislative considerations
Stakeholder engagement
Ecology
www.emgamm.com
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Warkworth Continuation 2014 Proposal and
Mount Thorley Operations 2014 Proposal
Environmental Impact Statements
for
May 2014
Central Queensland Cultural Heritage Management Pty Ltd Director: Dr Luke Godwin
16 Moren St, Rockhampton Qld 4701 Ph: 07 4926 2035
Email: [email protected]
Table of Contents
Page ABBREVIATIONS vi
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY vii
1. INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Warkworth Continuation 2014 Proposal 1 1.2 Mount Thorley Operations 2014 Proposal 3 1.3 The Report’s Approach 4
2. LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR ABORIGNAL CULTURAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT 6
2.1 Commonwealth Legislation 6 2.2 NSW Legislation 7
2.2.1 Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 7 2.2.2 National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 9
3. RIO TINTO COAL AUSTRALIA’S APPROACH TO ABORIGINAL CULTURAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT 11
3.1 The Rio Tinto Coal Australia Cultural Heritage Management System 11 3.2 Current Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management at MTW 12 3.3 Aboriginal Consultation in the Upper Hunter Valley 15 3.4 Consultation with the Aboriginal Community Regarding the Proposals 16 3.5 Future Directions for Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management for
Coal & Allied’s Upper Hunter Valley Projects and Operations 23 3.5.1 Issues in the Current Approach to Aboriginal Cultural Heritage
Management 24 3.5.2 Limits of Acceptable Change 25 3.5.3 A Cultural Heritage Management Accord 26
3.6 A Note Regarding the Location and Management of the Bulga Bora Ground within the Wollombi Brook Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Conservation Area 28 3.6.1 The Issue 28 3.6.2 Brief Background 29 3.6.3 Location and Current Condition 30 3.6.4 ATSIHP Act Section 10 Application and Response 30 3.6.5 Alternative Locations 31 3.6.6 Commentary on Alternative Locations 32
4. ABORIGINAL CULTURAL HERITAGE RESEARCH AND ASSESSMENT 33
4.1 Regional Research Summary 33 4.2 Aboriginal Occupation of the Central Lowlands 35 4.3 Ethnographic Context for the Aboriginal Use of the Central Lowlands 38
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Page 5. RESEARCH AND DATA SOURCES FOR THIS REPORT 40
5.1 Warkworth Extension EIS Study – AMBS 2002 44 5.1.1 Study Outline 44 5.1.2 Key Findings 45 5.1.3 Aboriginal Community Views 47 5.1.4 The Development Consent and the Archaeology and Cultural
Heritage Management Plan 48 5.1.5 Additional Aboriginal Community Consultation 49
5.2 Warkworth West Stage 1 Study – AECOM 2009 50 5.2.1 Study Outline 50 5.2.2 Key Findings 51 5.2.3 Additional Aboriginal Community Consultation 53
5.3 Warkworth Southwest Stage 2 Study – Scarp Archaeology 2009 53 5.3.1 Study Outline 53 5.3.2 Key Findings 54 5.3.3 Additional Aboriginal Community Consultation 55
5.4 Warkworth Non-Disturbance Area 2 Study – MCH 2009 56 5.4.1 Study Outline 56 5.4.2 Key Findings 56 5.4.3 Additional Aboriginal Community Consultation 58
5.5 Warkworth Southwest Finalisation and Bulga Farm Study – Scarp Archaeology 2011 58 5.5.1 Study Outline 58 5.5.2 Key Findings 59 5.5.3 Additional Aboriginal Community Consultation 60
5.6 MTO Ramp 22 Sedimentation Dam Area Assessment – RPS 2013 61 5.6.1 Study Outline 61 5.6.2 Key Findings 62 5.6.3 Additional Aboriginal Community Consultation 63
5.7 Warkworth Modification 6 Study – Coal & Allied 2013 64 5.7.1 Study Outline 64 5.7.2 Key Findings 65
5.8 Wallaby Scrub Road East Completion Study – Coal & Allied 2014 66 5.8.1 Study Outline 66 5.8.2 Key Findings 66
5.9 Warkworth Sands Archaeological Project – Scarp Archaeology 2009 67 5.9.1 Study Outline 67 5.9.2 Key Findings 69
5.10 Warkworth Sandsheet Sub-Area A Study– Scarp Archaeology 2013 71 5.10.1 Study Outline 71 5.10.2 Key Findings 72
5.11 A Note Regarding the Currency of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Studies 74
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Page 6. ABORIGINAL CULTURAL HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE ASSESSMENT 76
6.1 Scientific Significance 77 6.2 Significance to the Aboriginal Community 78
7. ABORIGINAL CULTURAL HERITAGE WITHIN THE GREATER MTW MINING AREA AND EXPECTED IMPACTS 80
7.1 Warkworth Continuation 2014 Proposal Area 80 7.2 Mount Thorley Operations 2014 Proposal Area 87 7.3 Wollombi Brook Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Conservation Area 92 7.4 Proposed Loder Creek Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Conservation Area 101 7.5 Current Warkworth Mine Development Consent Area 102 7.6 Other ‘On-Site’ Coal & Allied Owned Lands 106
8. ABORIGINAL CULTURAL HERITAGE IMPACT MANAGMENT COMMITTMENTS 110
8.1 Integrated Heritage Management Plan 110 8.2 Warkworth Continuation 2014 Proposal Area 111 8.3 Mount Thorley Operations 2014 Proposal Area 112 8.4 Wollombi Brook Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Conservation Area 114 8.5 Proposed Loder Creek Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Conservation Area 115 8.6 Other ‘On-Site’ Coal & Allied Owned Lands 115 8.7 ‘Off-Site’ Coal & Allied Owned Lands (Biodiversity Offsets) 116 8.8 Hunter Valley Sand Bodies Research Study 116
References 117
Appendix 1: Aboriginal community consultation undertaken for the proposals 122 1.1 Consultation register 123 1.2 RAP and Stakeholder consultation list – May 2014 162 1.3 Example consultation meeting invitation letter for the proposals 169 1.4 Example consultation meeting public notices for the proposals 172 1.5 Meeting agenda for the Coal & Allied Upper Hunter Valley Aboriginal
Cultural Heritage Working Group Community Consultation Meeting 3 April 2014 174
1.6 Meeting minutes for the Coal & Allied Upper Hunter Valley Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Working Group Community Consultation Meeting 3 April 2014 175
1.7 Meeting presentation for the Coal & Allied Upper Hunter Valley Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Working Group Community Consultation Meeting 3 April 2014 181
1.8 Invitation to Attend Site Visit to the Proposal Areas 29 April 2014 182 1.9 Minutes of Site Visit to the Proposal Areas 29 April 2014 184 1.10 Meeting agenda for the Coal & Allied Upper Hunter Valley Aboriginal
Cultural Heritage Working Group Community Consultation Meeting 7 May 2014 186
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Page 1.11 Meeting minutes for the Coal & Allied Upper Hunter Valley Aboriginal
Cultural Heritage Working Group Community Consultation Meeting 7 May 2014 187
1.12 Meeting presentation for the Coal & Allied Upper Hunter Valley Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Working Group Community Consultation Meeting 7 May 2014 191
Appendix 2: Aboriginal cultural heritage studies undertaken within the proposal Areas 192
List of Figures Page
Figure 1: General location of the Warkworth Continuation 2014 and Mount Thorley Operations 2014 proposal areas 2
Figure 2: Key Aboriginal cultural heritage study areas and their relationship to the proposal areas, major consent areas, tenements and other features referred
to in the text 42
Figure 3: Map showing the current status of Aboriginal cultural heritage places within the proposal areas and the other portions of the greater MTW area discussed in the text 81
Figure 4: Map showing the location and current status of Aboriginal cultural heritage Places within the Warkworth Continuation 2014 proposal area 82
Figure 5: Map showing the location and current status of Aboriginal cultural heritage places within the Mount Thorley Operations 2014 proposal area 89
List of Tables Page
Table 1: The proposals EIS’ Aboriginal cultural heritage impact assessment community consultation process, with reference to the 2010 OEH
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Consultation Requirements for Proponents 19-21
Table 2: AHIMS site records across sub-regions identified within the Upper Hunter Valley Aboriginal Heritage Baseline Study 35
Table 3: Frequency of Aboriginal cultural heritage place types identified within the AMBS study for the 2002 Warkworth Extension 45
Table 4: Frequency of Aboriginal cultural heritage place types identified within the AECOM Warkworth West Stage 1 study 51
Table 5: Frequency of Aboriginal cultural heritage place types identified within the Scarp Archaeology Warkworth South West Stage 2 study 54
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Page Table 6: Frequency of Aboriginal cultural heritage place types identified within
the MCH Warkworth NDA2 study 57
Table 7: Frequency of Aboriginal cultural heritage place types identified within the Scarp Archaeology Warkworth South West Stage 2 Finalisation and
Bulga Farm study 59
Table 8: Frequency of Aboriginal cultural heritage place types identified within the RPS Ramp 22 Sedimentation Dam assessment 62
Table 9: Frequency of Aboriginal cultural heritage place types identified within the Wallaby Scrub Road East Completion study 67
Table 10: Summary of extant Aboriginal cultural heritage place-types located within the Warkworth Continuation 2014 proposal area 83
Table 11: Details of all Aboriginal cultural heritage places and their current status within the Warkworth Continuation 2014 proposal area 83-85
Table 12: Summary of extant Aboriginal cultural heritage place-types located within the Mount Thorley Operations 2014 proposal area 88
Table 13: Details of all Aboriginal cultural heritage places and their current status within the MTO 2014 proposal area 90-92
Table 14: Summary of Aboriginal cultural heritage place-types located within the proposed WBACHCA area 93
Table 15: Details of all Aboriginal cultural heritage places and their current status within the proposed WBACHCA 94-100
Table 16: Details of all Aboriginal cultural heritage places and their current status within the proposed Loder Creek ACHCA 102
Table 17: Summary and present status of of Aboriginal cultural heritage places located within the current Warkworth Mine development consent area 103-105
Table 18: Summary of Aboriginal cultural heritage place-types located within other ‘on site’ Coal & Allied owned lands 106
Table 19: Details of all Aboriginal cultural heritage places and their current status within the remaining MTW Coal & Allied Owned lands 107-109
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Abbreviations
A&CHMP Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management Plan
ACHCRP 2010 Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Consultation Requirements for Proponents 2010
AHIMS Aboriginal Heritage Information Management Service AHIP Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit AMBS Australian Museum Business Services ATSIHP Act Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 198 BSO Bulga Surface Operations CHMD Cultural Heritage Management Database CHMS Cultural Heritage Management System CHWG Cultural Heritage Working Group Coal & Allied Coal & Allied Operations Pty Limited CQCHM Central Queensland Cultural Heritage Management Pty Limited DECCW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water DEWHA Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts DP&E Department of Planning & Environment EA Environmental Assessment EIS Environmental Impact Statement EP&A Act Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 EPBC Act Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 GL Gigalitres HMA Habitat Management Area HMP Heritage Management Plan HRSTS Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme Loder Creek ACHCA Loder Creek Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Conservation Area MTO Mount Thorley Operations Mtpa Million tonnes per annum MTW Mount Thorley Warkworth NDA Non-disturbance Areas NOOP Northern out-of-pit NPW Act National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 NPWS National Parks and Wildlife Service OEH Office of Environment and Heritage OSL Optically Stimulated Luminescence PAD Potential Archaeological Deposit RAP Registered Aboriginal Party SOOP Southern out-of-pit ToR Terms of Reference WBACHCA Wollombi Brook Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Conservation Area WMS Water Management System
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Executive Summary
This report has been commissioned by Coal & Allied as part of the preparation of Environmental
Impact Assessments (EIS) for the Warkworth Continuation 2014 & Mount Thorley Operations (MTO)
2014 proposals (together, the proposals) under Part 4 of the New South Wales Environment Planning
and Act 1979 (EP&A Act). The proposals have been declared State Significant developments under
Division 4.1 of Part 4 of the EP&A Act.
Coal & Allied have completed comprehensive Aboriginal cultural heritage surveys and research
covering the vast majority of the Mount Thorley Warkworth (MTW) mining leases and the adjoining
Coal & Allied owned lands, including the entirety of the proposal areas. These have been conducted
over an extended period from 2002, but have been particularly intensive since 2008. This work forms
part of the company’s strategy of minimising the impact of any of its operations on Aboriginal cultural
heritage, and has been carried out in consultation with Aboriginal community members and with their
active participation in the conduct of field assessments and management activities.
Coal & Allied has comprehensive policies and protocols in place to guide Aboriginal cultural heritage
management across all of their operations. These policies are applied consistently across the
integrated MTW operation in close consultation with the Aboriginal community who has interests in
the region and with whom Coal & Allied have well developed, formal and active relationships. The
proposals generally, but the proposal to extend the Warkworth Mine which, in particular, aims to
extend mining operations to the west, have been discussed intensively with the Registered Aboriginal
Parties (RAPs) primarily through the Upper Hunter Valley Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Working
Group (CHWG).
This report provides:
an outline of current management practices at MTW as they apply to Aboriginal cultural
heritage;
an outline of the research that has been conducted into Aboriginal cultural heritage in the
proposal areas and adjoining Coal & Allied owned lands, including the participation of
Aboriginal community members;
an assessment of Aboriginal cultural heritage significance for the proposals, potential impacts
and management proposals, including the views of the Aboriginal community; and
commitments with respect to Aboriginal cultural heritage management for the proposals.
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While the key focus of this report is on the management of impacts on Aboriginal cultural heritage
within the proposal areas, it also outlines Aboriginal cultural heritage management strategies and
commitments as they relate more generally to other Coal & Allied owned lands including the proposed
Wollombi Brook Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Conservation Area (WBACHCA) and Loder Creek
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Conservation Area (Loder Creek ACHCA), that reflect the informed
views of the Aboriginal community.
The WBACHCA is to be established on Coal & Allied owned lands along the western boundaries of
the MTW mining leases. It will include a significant portion of the highly culturally significant Bulga
bora ground area on the eastern side of Wollombi Brook. Initially it will be managed by Coal &
Allied in collaboration with the CHWG and in accordance with a management plan, which is well
advanced, specific to the area. A key longer-term objective will be to establish a co-management
regime for the WBACHCA and other Aboriginal cultural heritage conservations areas (such as that
also proposed for the remnant riparian areas along Loder Creek within the MTO 2014 proposal area;
i.e. the Loder Creek ACHCA) in partnership with the Aboriginal community through the development
of a community-based and culturally-appropriate governance structure.
The proposals provide an opportunity for key stakeholders including the Aboriginal community, Coal
& Allied and Government agencies to reconsider aspects of the present approach to Aboriginal
cultural heritage management, at least in the Upper Hunter Valley. This report proposes that the
development of a cultural heritage management accord between Coal & Allied and the Aboriginal
community could deliver secure management of important cultural places, as well as a balance of
outcomes that deliver intergenerational equity and enhance the cultural and social strength and
cohesion of the Aboriginal community in the Upper Hunter Valley.
It would be expected that the proposed accord would require Coal & Allied to meet obligations with
respect to and make provision for:
reasonable and adequate resources for the establishment of both the WBACHCA and
associated community governance entity in the first instance, and for the ongoing long-term
management of WBACHCA and Loder Creek ACHCA;
access to and co-management arrangements for both WBACHCA and Loder Creek ACHCA;
access to culturally-significant places and / or landscapes have been identified by the
Aboriginal community on other Coal & Allied lands associated with the Warkworth
Continuation 2014 and Mount Thorley Operations 2014 proposal areas;
resourcing Aboriginal cultural heritage and land management training and employment; and
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resourcing cultural and oral history recording by Aboriginal community members to ensure
the security of existing but threatened cultural and historical information.
The accord will also capture obligations on behalf of the Aboriginal community. These could include:
development of an integrated framework model for cultural heritage management applicable
to all Coal & Allied’s operations and lands in the Upper Hunter Valley that would look to
make the best use of available resources to maximise outcomes for the Aboriginal community,
including intergenerational equity;
negotiating in good faith about Aboriginal cultural heritage management outcomes across
Coal & Allied’s operations and lands in the Upper Hunter Valley; and
responsible management of Aboriginal cultural heritage places, landscapes and lands that are
subject to Aboriginal community co-management arrangements.
Discussions surrounding such an accord will require close engagement with the Aboriginal community
of the Upper Hunter Valley and relevant Government agencies (including DP&E and OEH), and will
require careful consideration and time to conclude.
The report provides an overview of regional archaeological research including archaeological studies
within the MTW mining area which date from the late 1970s. Within this, however, there are a series
of key studies undertaken throughout the MTW area which inform this report and provide data for the
assessment of the significance of Aboriginal cultural heritage objects and places located within the
proposal areas and their management in the context of the proposed development activities. These
studies fall into three main categories:
studies relating to the 2002 extension of the Warkworth Mine;
Coal & Allied studies undertaken throughout MTW between 2008 and 2014; and
multidisciplinary archaeological and geomorphological investigations undertaken into areas of
the Warkworth Sands land system.
The methodologies and key findings of these studies, including consultation with and participation by
the Aboriginal community are presented in the report.
The studies have identified a number of cultural places and features that are considered to have some
research potential or to have some level of scientific significance for other reasons. However, with the
resolution of the issues surrounding the question of possible Pleistocene occupation deposits
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associated with the Warkworth Sands landform, there are no places in proposal areas whose scientific
values are such that they should constitute a constraint on the proposals.
The great majority of Aboriginal cultural heritage places identified in the MTW mining area are
typical of the regional archaeology of the Upper Hunter Valley. The places are concentrated along
drainage lines with a particular focus around permanent sources of water. These areas also have
generally been subjected to a long history of disturbance through a range of land uses including
vegetation removal, grazing, farming and the development of formal and informal access tracks.
In general, the majority of the Aboriginal cultural heritage places which have so far been identified
and recorded are unlikely to yield significant additional information with regard patterns of land and
resource use either locally or regionally. Further, chronological attribution given sample sizes both
within individual places and across place-types, allied against taphonomic considerations, is
notoriously difficult for the majority of this cultural heritage. Further archaeological research into the
majority of the identified Aboriginal cultural heritage places is, therefore not considered warranted
from a scientific viewpoint.
During their participation in the design and conduct of the cultural heritage survey and assessments
which have been conducted, Aboriginal community representatives have expressed views about their
strong concern for particular places and cultural locations as well as with respect the preferred
mitigation of impacts on them from any potential development activities. In the course of the
extensive consultation which has been conducted with the Aboriginal community in relation to Coal &
Allied’s mining activities throughout the MTW area (including the present proposals), the Aboriginal
community have continually endorsed an Aboriginal cultural heritage management approach based on
the limits of acceptable change to their heritage at a landscape scale and the desirability of achieving
long-term and secure management of a range of significant places and areas, such as the Bulga bora
ground and Wollombi Brook in general, which have significance to them at a broader regional level.
In general, the cultural heritage places for which the Aboriginal community has evinced the strongest
concerns are…