The NSW Resources Regulator has released a video highlighting the key elements of the NSW Government’s mine rehabilitation framework, including legal obligations, the role of rehabilitation security bonds and the Resource Regulator’s role in monitoring compliance.
NSW Resources Regulator Director Compliance Steve Orr said mine rehabilitation is a key priority for the NSW Government and an important part of ensuring mining projects are environmentally sustainable.
“There are strong laws in place to ensure mines are rehabilitated to achieve an approved final land use and the Resources Regulator actively monitors mining activities to ensure compliance, which includes the reestablishment of native ecosystems, agricultural, industrial and recreational land use,” Mr Orr said.
“Rehabilitation outcomes are built into mine planning approvals and before mining begins, clear and enforceable rehabilitation outcomes must be incorporated in the mine’s design.
“Rehabilitation must occur progressively throughout the lifetime of the mine, not just at closure, which ensures the land is left in a safe, stable and environmentally sustainable condition.”
Mr Orr said mines are responsible for achieving the required rehabilitation standards and rehabilitation is not be complete until the Regulator is satisfied required standards have been met.
Mines must provide a rehabilitation security bond that covers the full cost of rehabilitation. The bond is held by the government and is not returned to the mine until rehabilitation is fully completed. The government currently holds 3.2 billion dollars in security bonds.
Rehabilitation obligations for mines are legally enforceable and mining companies are responsible for all rehabilitation, even after the mine’s closure.