Report aims to improve best practice in mine rehabilitation

A first-of-its-kind report led by The Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute aims to improve mining industry practice of how to define and measure successful mine-site rehabilitation criteria.

Dr Marit Kragt, from The University of Western Australia’s School of Agriculture and Environment, co-authored the report, A framework for developing mine-site completion criteria in Western Australia.

Dr Kragt said the report provided a framework for developing site-specific, risk-based criteria that mine operators could use to demonstrate they had successfully rehabilitated the site after mining.

The project responded to an industry need to understand how to best measure rehabilitation success, set achievable and measurable outcomes and appropriate completion criteria that were accepted by all stakeholders involved, according to Dr Kragt.  

“During the study we identified several bottle-necks to developing acceptable mine completion criteria,” she said.

“These included making mine closure planning an integral part throughout the life of a mine, rather than investing in rehabilitation towards the end of mining; and developing a consistent, coordinated approach to completion criteria across the various government departments involved in mine closure approvals.”

WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said the report was a great example of government and industry working together to deliver better rehabilitation outcomes for the State.

“It provides industry with greater clarity and consistency in the development of mine closure plans across different locations and commodities,” Mr Johnston said. “Effective mine closure is critical to ensure the long-term environmental sustainability of the industry.”

The WA Biodiversity Science Institute was established in 2015 and is an independent joint venture partnership involving Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, CSIRO, Western Australian Museum, Curtin University, Murdoch University, UWA and Edith Cowan University.

Media references

Dr Marit Kragt (UWA School of Agriculture and Environment)                         08 6488 4653

Simone Hewett (UWA Media & PR Adviser)                                                       08 6488 7975

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