Starting in 2000 I worked with a group of environmental scientists led by professor David McConchie, and arts practitioner John Smith from Southern Cross University, on a gold mine at Drake in northern NSW.  With the assistance of staff from environmental remediation company Virotec 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 TM 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 Bauxol TM with the soil and water nothing could grow in the water or soil on the dam.  The tests were a great success, the Bauxite TM had bound to the metals and stabilised them.  These photgraphs of the earthwork show the Bauxol TM being pumped out over the dam, the addition of Bauxol TM to the exposed tailings, and the resulting transformation of the dam over six years. 

Earthworks

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