Mayfield & Kooragang Remediation

HCCDC has been working on behalf of the NSW Goverment since the early 2000s to remediate and rehabilitate two former BHP sites around the Port of Newcastle.

The sites include a 150 hectare former steelworks at Mayfield, and associated 62 hectare waste emplacement facility at Kooragang Island. HCCDC's remediation works will open the potential for re-use of the sites.

Our team developed the remediation methods key to the project receiving a Premier's Award in 2016 in the environmental category. When complete, the project will mark the most significant remediation works in Newcastle's history.

Mayfield Steelworks

The $110 million remediation of BHP's steelworks site at Mayfield was formally completed in 2019, marking a major milestone in the city's transformation.

From 2006, our team has led complex works across the Property NSW owned site, to contain or remove contaminants while returning the land to a productive state. The works included:

  • an underground ‘barrier wall’ to reduce groundwater flow to the Hunter River
  • low permeability capping, reducing infiltration of rainwater
  • new major stormwater drains
  • demolition and land forming
  • a new freight rail line and major civil works

The sites history

The BHP Steelworks at Mayfield was established in 1915 and was vital to the regional and national economies until it closed in 1999.

Memorials to all those who worked at the Steelworks remain on the Mayfield site. The first, called Muster Point, is a large steel art installation paying tribute to the steel working skills on the BHP workers.

Another memorial installation was unveiled at the centenary of the plant’s official opening on 2 June 1915, paying tribute to those who lost their lives at the steelworks. The sculpture is a moving ‘’mourning circle’’ produced by Branxton artist and blacksmith Will Maguire.

Kooragang Island Waste Emplacement Facility (KIWEF)

The KIWEF is BHP's former landfill site that received waste from the former Newcastle Steelworks. 

HCCDC is tasked with completing the closure of the site in accordance with NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) guidelines.

We have so far completed coordinating the closure of 30 hectares, around half of the site, and have advanced plans to complete the remaining 32 hectares. HCCDC also managed the successful extinguishment of a 12 hectare subterranean fire within the KIWEF site in collaboration with many State Departments and agencies.

The area is environmentally sensitive, containing habitat of the protected Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea), several migratory bird species, and the nearby RAMSAR-listed Hunter Estuary Wetlands. All closure works have been designed sympathetically to the local environment, and provide migratory corridors for the Green and Golden Bell Frog habitats across Kooragang Island.

NSW Premier's Award

In 2016, our team received a NSW Premier’s Award for the remediation of the former BHP lands at Mayfield and Kooragang Island. This award, in the 'Protecting the Environment' category was acknowledgement of one of the biggest and most important remediation projects in Newcastle’s history.