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Rehabilitation guidelines updated

Updates to Guideline: Rehabilitation objectives and rehabilitation completion criteria

All large mines in NSW (i.e.mines with an Environment Protection Licence) are required to submit rehabilitation objectives and rehabilitation completion criteria statements to the NSW Resources Regulator for approval pursuant to Schedule 8A of Mining Regulation 2016. These statements are lodged using the Resources Regulator Portal.

We have recently updated the Guideline: Rehabilitation objectives and rehabilitation completion criteria (PDF, 538.59 KB)to assist mines in preparing their statements.

One of the key changes is an update to the example rehabilitation objectives in Table 1. Additional examples have now been provided for the ‘ecological rehabilitation’ objective category, where there might not be a target vegetation community / target plant community type (PCT). The examples on pages 35 to 37 now provide two options for each of the three ecological rehabilitation objectives.

Updates to Guideline: Mine rehabilitation portal

All large mines in NSW (i.e. mines with an Environment Protection Licence) are required to submit mine disturbance, rehabilitation and final land use spatial data to the NSW Resources Regulator via the Mine Rehabilitation Portal.

Our Guideline: Mine rehabilitation portal (PDF, 1.05 MB)has been updated (see page 8) to provide additional guidance for mines with a reporting period that aligns to a calendar year (i.e. ending 31 December). In summary, these mines will require the previous reporting year to be selected for themes associated with the annual rehabilitation report (disturbance, rehabilitation and current landform contours) and the current reporting year to be selected for themes associated with the forward program (forecast data Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3). For example, if the reporting periods ends on 31 December 2020, then 2020 needs to be selected for the themes associated with the annual rehabilitation report and 2021 needs to be selected for the themes associated with the forward program.

 

Additional guidance about lodging annual rehabilitation reports and forward programs

All large mines are required to prepare and submit an annual rehabilitation report and forward program for the mining area using the online forms on the Resources Regulator Portal accessible at https://nswresourcesregulator.service-now.com/regulator.

(Note: The annual rehabilitation report and the forward program are two separate documents).

 

The Form and way: Annual rehabilitation report and forward program for large mines (PDF, 725.37 KB) provides the requirements for these submissions and has recently been updated to provide the following further clarification:

  • removed 'Project approval boundary' as a mine rehabilitation portal spatial data theme submission requirement in Table 2. This theme is already required to be submitted as part of the Final Landform and Rehabilitation Plan.
  • clarified in Explanatory note 2 that the calculation of disturbance and rehabilitation key performance indicators G, H and J is achieved by comparing sequential annual rehabilitation report submissions.
  • removed the need to report cumulative ‘ecosystem and land use establishment’ in Table 12 and amended the description of ‘Total new area of land proposed for active rehabilitation’ (P) in Table 12.
  • Updated symbology guidance for Forecast Data Yr 1, Yr 2 and Yr3 in Appendix 1.

Updates to exploration activity application process and new guidelines

Applications to undertake exploration on exploration licences and mining leases are currently lodged online via the Resources Regulator Portal using the Assessable Prospecting Operations application form. Further information, including links to the relevant guidance notes and codes of practice, is available on our website.

We have recently completed an update to both the online application form, the accompanying Review of Environmental Factors and our guidance documentation. This includes the following:

 

  1. Holders of mining leases and petroleum titles will now be able to use the online application form.
  2. Questions have been added and amended in the application form and the review of environmental factors (REF) survey to align with the requirements set out in Guidelines for Division 5.1 Assessments issued by the Department of Planning and Environment.
  3. Applicants are now required to attach a copy of any records obtained from the Commonwealth government’s Protected Matters Search Tool providing details of any matters of national environmental significance under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 that are likely to be impacted by the activity.
  4. A new department guideline has been published. Exploration guideline: Application and assessment process for exploration activities (PDF, 1.14 MB). This provides one source of information for explorers outlining the application and assessment process for their activities, including the preparation of a REF. This new guideline replaces ESG5: Assessment requirements for exploration activities and ESG2: Guideline for preparing a Review of Environmental Factors.
  5. Activity approvals, including the accompanying REF, will be published on our website where the capital investment value of the project exceeds $5 million. This is in accordance with the legislative requirements set out in clause 171 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021.

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