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The 7 steps for developing a PRCP Schedule

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Mine Rehabilitation & Closure / Mining & Resources

The 7 steps for developing a PRCP Schedule

Organisations carrying out mining activities in Queensland (QLD) are legally obligated to rehabilitate the land.

A progressive rehabilitation and closure plan (PRC plan) is a critical element of the QLD Government’s Mined Land Rehabilitation Policy. When submitting a site-specific application for an Environmental Authority (EA) for a new mining activity relating to a mining lease, applicants are required to develop and submit a proposed PRC plan as part of their application.

 

What is a PRCP Schedule?

The PRCP schedule is approved by the administering authority and will include maps of final rehabilitation and closure outcomes for the site and tables of time-based milestones for achieving each PMLU and/or NUMA.
The schedule consists of the following:

  • Rehabilitation and management milestones
  • Milestone criteria
  • Identification of PMLUs or NUMAs
  • When land becomes available for rehabilitation and available for improvement
  • Rehabilitation areas and improvement areas
  • Milestone completion dates

The administering authority may impose conditions on the approval that it considers necessary or desirable, and the PRCP schedule operations separately to the EA. Application materials relating to the EA and PRC plan, the final version of a PRC plan and any PIE report are available on the Public Register.

 

What are the 7 steps involved in developing a PRCP Schedule?

1. Final site design

The final site design must delineate the total area of the PRC plan as planned for surrender, including all proposed undisturbed areas, all proposed PMLUs and any proposed NUMAs. The final site design is a map showing:

  • The maximum disturbance footprint
  • Resource tenure boundaries
  • PMLU(s) and NUMA(s) for the land within the resource tenure(s)
  • Flood plain extent

 

2. Divide PMLU/NUMA into rehabilitation and improvement areas

PMLUs identified in the final site design must be broken down into rehabilitation areas, and NUMAs identified in the final site design must be broken down into improvement areas. Reference maps must be attached to the proposed PRCP schedule identifying the boundary of each rehabilitation area and improvement area.

 

3. Determine when land becomes available

In the proposed PRCP schedule, the applicant must state the year the rehabilitation/improvement area is available for the commencement of rehabilitation/improvement.

 

4. Develop relevant milestones

Rehabilitation milestones are required for all rehabilitation areas that have a PMLU, and must identify each significant event or step necessary to rehabilitate the land to a stable condition. Milestones are legally enforceable commitments once the PRCP schedule is approved and therefore it is essential that they are written in a manner that delivers SMART principles:

Specific – it is clear what must be done

Measurable – it must be possible to know when it has been achieved

Achievable – it is capable of being achieved

Reasonable/relevant – there is a clear connection between the milestone and the desired outcomes

Time specific – it is clear when the milestone will be completed

 

5. Develop site-specific milestone criteria

Milestone criteria, for management and rehabilitation milestones, means parameters that are measurable for achieving the milestone and will be assessed to determine whether a rehabilitation or management milestone is achieved by the date stated in the PRCP schedule. For each PMLU, rehabilitation milestones must be supported by milestone criteria that:

a) Are appropriate for achieving the milestone
b) Facilitate achieving the subsequent rehabilitation milestones

 

6. Propose when the first milestone must commence

For rehabilitation areas, applicants and the administering authority must have regard to the land being rehabilitated ‘as soon as practicable’ when developing or assessing the rehabilitation milestones within a proposed PRCP schedule. The EP Regulation states that the first rehabilitation milestone for a rehabilitation area will start as soon as practicable after the land in the area becomes available for rehabilitation by, for example, starting within 6 months after the area becomes available for rehabilitation.

 

7. Propose timing for when each milestone will be completed

The completion date is the date by which each milestone must be completed. Considerations for determining when rehabilitation or improvement can be achieved ‘as soon as practicable’ include:

  • The size of the area
  • The complexity of the methods
  • The suitability of weather seasonality

 

What is the PRCP Schedule post approval process?

Once a PRCP schedule is approved, there are a number of post-approval processes that may apply to the schedule, including:

  • Amendments
  • Amalgamations
  • De-amalgamations
  • PRCP schedule audits
  • Annual returns
  • Progressive rehabilitation certification
  • Surrenders

Find out how to develop a Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Plan (QLD). 


FAQ:

What is a Progressive Rehabilitation Closure Plan (PRCP) Schedule?

The PRCP schedule is approved by the administering authority and will include maps of final rehabilitation and closure outcomes for the site and tables of time-based milestones for achieving each PMLU and/or NUMA.

How do I develope a PRCP Schedule?

1. Final site design 2. Divide PMLU/NUMA into rehabilitation and improvement areas 3. Determine when land becomes available 4. Develop relevant milestones 5. Develop site-specific milestone criteria 6. Propose when the first milestone must commence 7. Propose timing for when each milestone will be completed

What is the PRCP Schedule post approval process?

Once a PRCP schedule is approved, there are a number of post-approval processes that may apply to the schedule, including:

  • Amendments
  • Amalgamations
  • De-amalgamations
  • PRCP schedule audits
  • Annual returns
  • Progressive rehabilitation certification
  • Surrenders

 

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