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Why do mining companies rehabilitate the land?

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Mining & Resources

Why do mining companies rehabilitate the land?

With increased regulatory pressure and greater environmental impact awareness and understanding, mine closure has become a crucial aspect of the success of any mining operation.

Why should a mine site be rehabilitated?

According to the Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, there are four key factors that make up the business case for mine rehabilitation. They are:
1. Project approval
2. Compliance risk
3. Financial liability
4. Reputational risk

1. Project approval

Mining companies need to demonstrate their commitment to land-use stewardship, stakeholder and community relations and sustainability to gain access to land. Mine rehabilitation efforts are now seen as a key performance indicator and competitive advantage. Failure to properly consider and commit to mine rehabilitation and land-use stewardship can reduce the likelihood of receiving approvals or development opportunities altogether.

2. Compliance risk

Companies failing to meet regulatory requirements and expectations run the risk of increased scrutiny, additional restrictions and higher compliance and legal costs. One of the greatest compliance risks is a company losing its social license to operate (the acceptance of a company’s business practices and operating procedures by it’s employees, stakeholders and the general public, thus limiting its future access to resources.

3. Financial liability

Effective and early planning helps minimise rehabilitation costs as engagement, quantative and qualitative monitoring and collaboration with regulatory bodies can be improved. Failure to plan and manage these can see financial liabilities sky-rocket.

4. Reputational risk

A poor record of rehabilitation can lead to reputational damage with regulators and stakeholders. This can result in approval delays or rejection, more stringent permit conditions and the loss of a social license to operate. Companies with a positive reputation for rehabilitation, however, can utilise this advantage as a point of differentiation and may also see them become a development partner of choice with regulators and the community.

To find out more about mine rehabilitation, check out our FREE guide here.

 


FAQ:

What is mine closure planning?

Mine closure planning involves planning effectively for the after-mining landscape – all activities required before, during, and after the operating life of a mine that are needed to produce an acceptable landscape economically. Closure performance refers to the activities near and after mine closure and how well activities listed in the closure plan are carried out.

What are the different types of mine rehabilitation?

According to the Minerals Council of Australia, there are several different types of mine rehabilitation including: cropping, conservation, grazing, and native restoration.

 

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