Peat Mining

Research Impacts before the collapse

loss of palynological history
loss of palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic research potential

According to the National Parks and Wildlife Service:

A considerable palynological history may have already been lost as mining has and is taking place in the widest and deeper peat sections of the swamp ...Much palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic research has still to be carried out in the swamp and further peat mining will destroy the storehouse of information that is held within the organic deposits.

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According to Emerald Peat:

Wingecarribee Swamp consists of 4 layers in order from the surface with their radiocarbon dates for the lowest level as follows:

  • Fibrous peat: 1840 BP
  • Fen peat: 2520 BP
  • Grey Clay: 14,900
  • Silty Clay

Only the upper layer of Fibrous peat is extracted in the mining operation...

A particular attribute of peat swamps is their ability to preserve plant pollens enabling scientists to gain information regarding past vegetation and climate... Recovery of the pollen record is by way of cores taken from the peat and then stored. The scientific record of the pollen sequence at Wingecarribee swamp should be managed by ensuring that there remains areas where cores can be obtained in the future and that if required cores are taken from areas which may be disturbed. In the light of the company's mine plan there remain many areas of swamp undisturbed from which pollen cores can be taken in the future. If cores are needed in areas proposed to be extracted, the company will arrange to take those cores for relevant scientists at the company's expense.

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National Parks and Wildlife Service, Submission to the Mining Wardens Inquiry into Possible Renewal of Mining Leases for the Extraction of Peat from Wingecarribee Swamp, 1997, Exhibit 23, pp. 8-12.

Minter Ellison, Summary of Submissions by Emerald Peat Pty Ltd, 1997.



This site has been designed, researched and produced by Sharon Beder

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