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Reassessing Rehabilitation Objectives and Targets for Mature Mining Operations in Queensland


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Author A R Butler and T R Anderson


Haymont (2012) notes that in parts of Australia significant areas of mining disturbance cannot be relinquished. In Queensland it has been estimated that by 2010, just 0.3 per cent 507 ha of mining disturbance had been rehabilitated to the regulator’s satisfaction (Short, 2015).

One reason for this poor record is the presence of inappropriate, unachievable or unmeasurable rehabilitation targets (Glenn et al, 2014; Butler, Anderson and Sexton, 2015). In the authors’ experience in Queensland many mature operations have licence conditions that hinder the achievement of sustainable outcomes or prevent successful validation of rehabilitation success. This creates a lack of certainty for industry and a lack of confidence in the community that the sector can deliver good rehabilitation outcomes (Short, 2015).

This extended abstract presents a framework approach that has been applied at two contrasting operations. Without the changes presented, the goal of progressive rehabilitation certification, reduction in financial assurance (FA) and a path to surrender at these sites would have been impossible. The framework can be adapted for use across different bioregions and commodities.


Butler, A R and Anderson, T R, 2016. Reassessing rehabilitation objectives and targets for mature mining operations in Queensland, in Proceedings Life-of-Mine 2016 Conference, pp 139–141 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).