Rehabilitation is the treatment or management of disturbed land or water, due to exploration and mining. Rehabilitation supports the re-establishment of native ecosystems, agricultural, industrial and recreational land uses.

Rehab-infographic-v3We are responsible for monitoring and enforcing rehabilitation activities to ensure that exploration and mining affected land is left in a safe and stable condition.

Mining companies are required to identify the impacts of their activities and how rehabilitation will address these impacts, long before a mine is constructed.

A rehabilitation security bond must be provided before exploration and mining activities begin. As of March 2020, the NSW Government held around $3.1 billion in security bonds for rehabilitation of exploration and mining impacts. The security deposit covers the full cost of all rehabilitation and closure activities required if a mining company defaults on their rehabilitation obligations.

Rehabilitation must be carried out as soon as practical, which means that mine sites are progressively rehabilitated as parts of an operation are complete. We have several regulatory tools that we can use to ensure that rehabilitation is undertaken in a timely manner. We can also direct a former title holder to complete further rehabilitation works if required.

Mining companies must demonstrate they have met their rehabilitation objectives and completion criteria to have their security bond released.

In some areas, it is difficult to tell where a mine was previously located. Many mines in NSW have successfully completed rehabilitation, either partially or fully.

Rehabilitation in NSW

The sequence of images displayed below illustrate an example of rehabilitation works of a site captured over eight years, from 2003 to 2011.

Rehabilitation for resource projects, New Wallsend Colliery, Newcastle NSW

Rehabilitation activities underway (click on the images to enlarge)

30yr old rehabilitation 5yr-old-rehabilitation 5yr-old-rehabilitation

Overview-of-rehabilitation-areas-approx-5-years-old Overview-of-rehabilitation-areas Wilpinjong-Coal-Mine-Overview-of-rehabilitation-areas-2

Further information

For more information regarding exploration, mining rehabilitation and regulatory processes, download the facts sheets below.