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The major work for my PhD at Southern cross University started in 2000. I worked with a group of environmental scientists led by professor David McConchie, and arts practitioner John Smith from SCU, on a gold mine at Drake in northern NSW.  With the assistance of staff from environmental remediation company Virotec and the University I planted 600 wattle and bottlebrush trees.   The planting formed a 500 metre Serpent which for a time held a coin and then a vegetable garden in its mouth.  The scientists and Virotec were testing the use of Bauxsol™ to treat acid soil and water on the mine.  The sculpture is built on exposed tailings at the edge of the main tailings dam.  Mining causes a plethora of metals to be released into the environment and this causes low pH levels.  Prior to mixing Bauxsol™ with the soil and water nothing could live in the water or grow in the soil on the dam.  The tests were a success, the Bauxsol™ had bound to the metals and stabilised them and life soon returned to the site.  

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