Mining companies will be forced to show plans for the ongoing rehabilitation of their mines and to report on their progress as the NSW government moves to tighten rules around environmental management.
Deputy Premier and Mining Minister John Barilaro said the reforms would “ultimately ensure that mining leaseholders progressively rehabilitate mine sites over the course of their project, and not just at closure”.
“After extensive public consultation, new standard mining lease conditions for rehabilitation will now be introduced on all mining leases,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Previously, a mining operation may have been subject to several different rehabilitation and environmental management conditions, making compliance, monitoring, and regulation complex.”
The rehabilitation of mines has been a long-standing issue, with the NSW Audit Office warning in 2017 that security deposits of the state’s 450 mines “do not include sufficient contingency given the substantial risks and uncertainties associated with mine rehabilitation and closure.