It is the responsibility of the NSW Resources Regulator to ensure that land disturbed by exploration activities is returned to a safe, stable and sustainable land use.

All authority holders are required to lodge a security deposit with the department. Policy ESP1: Rehabilitation security deposits states that the security deposit must cover the government's full costs in undertaking rehabilitation in the event of default by the authority. This requirement is intended to minimise potential liabilities to the government in the event that the authority holder defaults on their rehabilitation obligations.

On receipt of an application for approval of an exploration activity, the Regulator may review the adequacy of the security deposit. Holders of authorities under the Mining Act 1992 may be required to submit a rehabilitation cost estimate (RCE) with the application form to facilitate this review. The RCE is used by the  Regulator to assist in determining the amount of the security, including when a potential change in rehabilitation liability occurs.

Refer to ESG1: Rehabilitation cost estimate guidelines and the Rehabilitation cost estimation toolRehabilitation cost estimation tool handbook and the Frequently asked questions for more information.