Authors: Tiemann, CD; McDonald, MC; Middle, G; Dixon, KW

Open access courtesy of:

DOI https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1915_113_Tiemann

Cite As:
Tiemann, CD, McDonald, MC, Middle, G & Dixon, KW 2019, 'Mine relinquishment policy in Australia', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2019: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 1451-1460, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1915_113_Tiemann

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero


Abstract:
The profile of mine rehabilitation and closure continues to gain momentum in Australia, with an increasing focus by governments, industry and the broader community on a range of mine closure related topics. Despite decades of mine closure research and rehabilitation activities, there are limited examples within Australia of mining operations closing successfully and allowing relinquishment of mine tenure. A review of policy across Australia demonstrates that no clear pathway to relinquishment exists within mine closure legislation. While policy gaps contribute to the limited examples of successful relinquishment, defined in this paper as the transfer of liability, there are a number of additional roadblocks. A major one being the reality of residual risk and liability existing after a mine has been successfully closed. Closing a mine is an investment decision, with mining executives and boards requiring certainty of process and outcome to invest in closure. Moving forward government, industry and the community need to understand and accept that residual risk and liability will exist in successfully closed post-mined land. To ensure that mining is a temporary land use, mechanisms for improving relinquishment outcomes, explored in this paper, and innovative thinking around post-mining land uses must also be employed. This paper presents approaches to relinquishment, including risk and liability determination and post-closure funding arrangements throughout the mining lifecycle. When coupled with a defined regulatory process for relinquishment, these can drive better mine closure outcomes.

Keywords: mine closure, residual risk, closure liability, next land use, relinquishment

References:
Asher, N 2017, Hazelwood Rehabilitation Estimated to Cost $743 Million but May Rise, Engie Says, ABC Gippsland,
Audit Office of NSW 2017, Mining Rehabilitation Security Deposits, NSW Auditor-General’s Report, viewed 2 February 2019,
Australian Government 2018, Crown Land in Western Australia, Australian Government,
Bocking, KA, Kam, SN, Welch, DE & Williams, DA 2009, ‘Management of mine sites after closure’, in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth,
pp. 245‒252.
Butler, H & Bentel, GM 2011, ‘Mine relinquishment – process and learnings’, in AB Fourie, M Tibbet & A Beersing (eds), Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 3‒12.
Cochilco, CCC 2002, Research on Mine Closure Policy, retrieved from Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
Coote, G 2017, Calls for Urgent Intervention to Prevent Closure of Key NSW Coal Mine and Power Station, ABC Central West, ‌8962618
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) 2014, Rehabilitation Requirements for Mining Resource Activities, Queensland Government.
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (DITR) 2006, Mine Closure and Completion: Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry, viewed 9 February 2019, ‌203415/mine-closure-and-completion.pdf
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) 2016, Mine Closure: Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry, viewed 15 January 2019, ‌ClosureCompletionHandbook.pdf
Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) & Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) 2015, Guidelines for Preparing Mine Closure Plans, Department of Mines and Petroleum & Environmental Protection Authority, Perth.
NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services (DTIRIS) 2013, ESG3, Mining Operations Plan (MOP) Guidelines, NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services, Maitland.
Earth Resources Regulation 2018, Stockman Project: Site Rehabilitation and Post-closure, Victorian Government,
Elkington, J 1994, ‘Towards the sustainable corporation: win-win-win business strategies for sustainable development‘, California Management Review, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 90‒100.
Finucane-Woodman, M 2017, Mining Tenure Relinquishment in Western Australia: Current and Future Directions, master’s thesis, Murdoch University, ‌Current_Practice_and_Future_Directions
Glenn, V, Doley, D, Unger, C, McCaffrey, N, McKenna, P, Gillespie, M & Williams, E 2014, ‘Mined land rehabilitation: is there a gap between regulatory guidance and successful relinquishment?’, AusIMM Bulletin, June 2014, pp. 48‒54.
Goh, E & Effendi, S 2017, ‘Overview of an effective governance policy for mineral resource sustainability in Malaysia’, Resources Policy, vol. 52(2017), pp. 1‒6.
Gorey, P, McHenry, M, Morrison-Saunders, A, Mtegha, H & Doepel, D 2016, ‘Critical elements in implementing fundamental change in public environmental policy: Western Australia’s mine closure and rehabilitation securities reform’, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 370‒381.
Kotsadam, A & Tolonen, A 2016, ‘African mining, gender, and local employment’, World Development, vol. 83(2016), pp. 325‒339.
Lamb, D, Erksine, PD & Fletcher, A 2015, ‘Widening gap between expectations and practice in Australian minesite rehabilitation’, Ecological Management and Restoration, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 186‒195.
Laurence, D 2006, ‘Optimisation of the mine closure process’, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 14(2006), pp. 285‒298.
Marais, L 2013, ‘Resources policy and mine closure in South Africa: the case of the Free State Goldfields’, Resources Policy, vol. 38(2013), pp. 363‒372.
McKenna, M & Martin, P 2018, Mining Rehabilitation in Western Australia – Where to From Here?, blog post, viewed 26 July 2019,
Peck, P & Sinding, K 2009, ‘Financial assurance and mine closure: stakeholder expectations and effects on operating decisions’, Resources Policy, vol. 34(2009), pp. 227‒233.
Prior, E 2016, ‘Mining & petroleum closure & rehabilitation: material obligations – a critical spotlight on costs & provisions/energy analysis/mining & metals analysis’, Citi Research Closure & Rehabilitation in the Spotlight, Citi Research.
Roche, C & Judd, S 2016, ‘Ground truths: taking responsibility for Australia’s mining legacies’, Mineral Policy Institute,
Smith, B 2009, ‘Mining for Closure’, PhD dissertation, UNSW Sydney, ‌upload/pdf/schools_and_engagement/resources/notes/5A3_16.pdf
Yakovleva, N, Kotilainen, J & Toivakka, M 2017, ‘Reflections on the opportunities for mining companies to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in sub-Saharan Africa’, The Extractive Industries and Society, vol. 4(2017),
pp. 426‒433.




© Copyright 2022, Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), The University of Western Australia. All rights reserved.
Please direct any queries or error reports to repository-acg@uwa.edu.au