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August 19, 2019

Successful mine closure for better environmental outcomes

New Completion Criteria Framework improves understanding of successful mine closure

  • The first report of its kind in Australia
  • Improves an understanding of how to define and measure mine completion criteria
  • Endorsed by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
  • Contributes to better social and environmental outcomes

Click here to access the full project report and the DMIRS endorsed Completion Criteria Framework.

Developing acceptable and achievable completion criteria is a necessary part of mine closure planning. It is critical for successfully transitioning land from mining to its next use such as for development, agriculture or conservation.

A new report, released by The Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI), provides a framework for developing site-specific, risk-based completion criteria and associated monitoring.

Whilst it is aimed primarily at the resources sector, the Framework guides industries that are developing new criteria, or wish to improve existing systems such as in rehabilitation and ecological restoration activities.

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has endorsed the Framework as a tool to assist with the development of acceptable completion criteria within a mine closure plan prepared in accordance with its guidelines.

The impetus for the report was a demonstrated need by end users for a clearer understanding of assessing mine closure. Although considerable progress has been made in recent years, defining and measuring closure and rehabilitation success needs to be better understood particularly, with respect to environmental parameters.

To help deliver the project, WABSI brought together industry and regulatory agencies along with leading science experts from the Centre for Mine Site Restoration, Curtin University, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University and The University of Western Australia.

Project partners included the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Iluka, Alcoa, Hanson, Independence Group, South32, Roy Hill, BHP and Rio Tinto.

WABSI is a joint venture partnership with leading research organisations and is funded by the Western Australian Government’s Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

“The innovative Framework has been developed by leading researchers working in partnership with industry and government. This independent report is the first of its kind in Australia. As well as the Framework, the full report includes a global review of guidelines and research, a survey of current industry practice and, as well as three case studies across Western Australia,” said Dr Guy Boggs, Program Director, WABSI.

Click here to access the full project report and the DMIRS endorsed Completion Criteria Framework.

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