May 31, 2017 / News
It's no surprise that mines have a significant impact on the environment in which they operate. Mines occupy vast amounts of space, change the face of the landscape, and require large amounts of energy to operate. Once a mine has been expended and the mine ceases its functions, the site is left barren and unrecognisable from its original state. In order to combat this and protect the environment and local communities, mine rehabilitation policies have been put in place. These policies are incorporated into regulatory approval processes across Australia, and also require financial surety, prior to the granting of approval, to fund the rehabilitation of the mine.
Mine Rehabilitation involves 'restoring the environment to its natural state'. Mine rehabilitation policies stipulate the management of mine pits, revegetation of the area, restoration of the natural ecosystem, as well as ensuring the land's future viability. Generally, the objectives of mine rehabilitation are to ensure that old mine sites are safe for humans and wildlife, are non-polluting, stable, and able to sustain an agreed post-mining use for the land.
However, current rehabilitation policies have been criticised for being too vague and insufficient in protecting the environment.
To fill in the gaps of current policies and more effectively maintain the natural integrity of the land after the mine closes, the Queensland government has proposed amendments to their mine rehabilitation policies.
The changes will require mines to progressively rehabilitate land as it becomes available, with a push for rehabilitation efforts to be audited and reported publically. Also, the financial surety will be a more accurate reflection of the cost required to rehabilitate the environmental damage caused by the mine.
The Queensland government will be taking a stricter stance that holds mining companies more accountable for the environmental impact that they have made and/or will make.
Mine rehabilitation also presents the opportunity to generate additional jobs for the locals. This will help to pump more money into local communities and the economy. Mine rehabilitation policies not only assist in the preservation of the environment for the future but also creates jobs.
If you require quality labourers for your mining/construction projects, contact us on the Workfast website or call 1300 824 403