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Stewart Emerson
May 30, 2023


MACH Energy is a mining company that’s focused on developing and operating economical and efficient energy sources, whilst proactively managing its social and environmental impact.

It completed the acquisition of its first asset, Mount Pleasant in the Upper Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, about 243 km north of Sydney in August 2016. Characterised by high quality coals, a low-strip ratio and high-processing yield, it’s in the early phase of production currently generating up to 10.5M tonnes of thermal coal per year.

Mount Pleasant is next to the town of Muswellbrook so the environmental team at MACH Energy immediately took steps to create a natural landform barrier to reduce noise and minimise the environmental impact on the town and local population.

Rehabilitation is high on the agenda and commenced prior to coal production with the rehabilitation of borrow pits and disturbed land. MACH Energy is continuously working to implement environmental best-practice and to build a positive working relationship with all of its stakeholders, ranging from the local community to government regulators.


As a relatively young mining operation Mount Pleasant is at the beginning of its rehabilitation journey. The environmental team are following a progressive rehabilitation strategy which will support staged relinquishment, but the first of these remains some years off.

One of the early issues that the team decided to address concerned its weed management and eradication program. Traditional transect surveys used to identify areas of risk supported by regular weed spraying interventions was the usual method and the approach initially adopted.

But the environmental team felt that this approach could be improved upon as it didn’t provide the level of confidence they required in order to determine;

  • Efficiency of the weed spraying process and individual contractors
  • Whether the spraying was achieving the required level of control over the weeds

They decided to look for a new innovative approach which could support and improve the outcomes of their weed
management programme.

"Dendra is a key strategic partner in the MACH Energy Mount Pleasant Operation rehabilitation programme."

- Andrew Reid, Environment Superintendent, Mount Pleasant Operation


Dendra replaced the traditional transect survey method with drone based data capture of the entire rehabilitation site in high resolution. This process ensured collection of 100% of the survey area instead of collecting under 1% and using data extrapolation for the remaining 99%. This remote sensing data is enhanced by Dendra’s onsite ecology team who ground truth the target species to ensure a high level of accuracy and confidence.

Once captured the high resolution data is uploaded to the Dendra Platform, georeferenced and combined with satellite data to create a single photomosaic map. The weeds of concern are then automatically identified and labelled using ecology trained machine learning which has been enhanced by a 30+ team of ecologists.

These actionable insights are used to accurately target weed spraying interventions and to monitor and report on year on year weed management trends. Dendra enables the weed spraying work order process and 3rd party contractors to be efficiently managed through the Dendra Platform to ensure more effective outcomes.

The weed management program is now in its 3rd year and benefits from an annual cycle of entire site data capture resulting in insights which support more precise and better targeted weed eradication actions.


The results have met and surpassed MACH Energy’s expectations. The MACH Energy and Dendra teams have worked closely together to design and implement the right solution.

The benefits:

  • Improved identification of weed infestations
  • Better eradication and weed management
  • Assessment of weed spraying contractor performance
  • Potential cost reduction in the weed management programme
  • Access to further actionable insights covering area classification, erosion, natives, animals and human made objects

“Dendra's unique data driven approach provides the actionable insights necessary to deliver against our ambitious rehabilitation and relinquishment goals.”

- Andrew Reid, Environment Superintendent, Mount Pleasant Operation


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