Authors: Miller, B


Cite As:
Miller, B 2016, 'Ecological research needed to manage risk and meet rising standards in mining rehabilitation', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2016: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 13-16,

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Ecological sciences can assist mine planning and management on the way to effective rehabilitation and closure in a number of distinct ways. The identification of likely environmental impacts is a routine application that aids planning. Extending this to assessing the likely complexity of rehabilitation needs may be an equally valuable aid for risk-identification and mitigation, but is not at all routine. The identification of reference target ecosystems, the design of approaches to sample, assess and define these, and then to monitor rehabilitation trajectory towards them are elements of best practice. While these can significantly improve rehabilitation planning and effectiveness, they are often not applied in a way that enables this potential. Lastly, improving technical capacity to deliver required rehabilitation outcomes is the broadest area of potential benefit to closure management. Investing in environmental science may seem counterintuitive for a mining company but there are many potential benefits.

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