Rehabilitation is well underway at Sunnyside, with vegetation now established at the former open-cut mine located 15 kilometres west of Gunnedah in North West NSW. The mine was operational between 2008 and 2012, followed by a period when operations halted before resuming operations from 2017. The site transitioned to decommissioning and final rehabilitation in late 2019. Whilst rehabilitation has been undertaken progressively over the life of the mine, bulk earthworks within the void could only be undertaken when operations ceased. This has included hauling overburden to backfill the void, shaping the landform, and placing and spreading soil and seed mix. Other activities included demolition and removal of all fixed infrastructure and additional bulk earthworks to reshape the overburden dump.Before mining, the area had predominantly been cleared for agricultural cultivation and grazing, with a principally cropping and pastoral land use. The rehabilitation process is intended to return the site to pastures in the flat areas of 54 hectare and woodland of 35.3 hectare on the slopes, to reflect the surrounding vegetation. While the majority will be agricultural land, the rehabilitation strategy also includes enhancing biodiversity – in particular, some areas that were not disturbed by mining are being planted with tree species used by koalas. This is to create movement corridors between separated woodlands.Now that vegetation has been established, priority activities include maintenance of the rehabilitated landform to ensure it is safe and stable, and to control feral animals and weeds. For the pasture areas, Whitehaven will undertake trials with cattle or sheep into 2023 or 2024, to confirm the land can support grazing.