A new report published today by The Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI) reveals that mine closure “rehabilitation conditions are often seen as aspirational objectives or performance management tools rather than achievable targets.”
The report, “A review of mine rehabilitation condition setting in Western Australia” is the culmination of a research project that collected and analysed publicly available information on the conditions for mine site rehabilitation in Western Australia.
Rehabilitating land following mining is a major and growing issue for Western Australia, with around 2.5 million hectares of land currently under an active mining lease.
About 85% of mining proposals assessed by the Western Australia Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) have had rehabilitation and/or closure requirements recommended and subsequently applied by the Minister for Environment through a Ministerial Statement. This is in addition to the conditions for rehabilitation and/or closure specified under the Mining Act 1978.
The WABSI project report, authored by researchers from The University Western Australia, collated information about mine rehabilitation and/or closure conditions recommended by the EPA under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, to provide baseline information of the requirements for rehabilitation in the State.