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Legacy mines program

The Legacy Mines Program (LMP) is a NSW Government initiative that delivers and manages works to reduce risks from legacy mine sites.

LMP focuses on public safety and improving the environment through remediation of historic and abandoned mines. The LMP is administered by Mining, Exploration and Geoscience, a division of the Department of Regional NSW.

Program goals

Primary objectives

The primary objectives of the LMP are to:

  • reduce or eliminate risks to public health and safety;
  • reduce any impacts to the environment;
  • stabilise and prevent further degradation of legacy mine sites; and
  • remove or contain contamination at its source and prevent it from spreading.

Secondary objectives

Secondary objectives of the LMP are to:

  • optimise beneficial reuse of legacy mine sites;
  • encourage native plant and animal life;
  • conserve items of significant heritage value; and
  • improve visual amenity.

      The range of remediation works funded by the program include:

      • detailed site assessments and preparation of remediation action plans
      • engineering design work
      • physical safety works (for example, fencing, grating or filling shafts)
      • erosion and sediment control works
      • management of acid mine drainage and contamination
      • stabilisation and revegetation of sites
      • continued monitoring and review of sites.
      Landscape with red dirt shallow scooped out bowl and trees in distance

      Prioritisation of works

      Projects are only considered for funding if no person or company with direct responsibility for the rehabilitation of the mine can be located. Projects that cannot demonstrate a clear and significant link to former mining operations cannot be funded by the LMP.

      The Legacy Mines Program prioritises the rehabilitation or remediation of legacy mine sites based on a variety of factors including the:

      • public safety risk
      • environmental risk
      • end use of the land
      • cost effectiveness of rehabilitation or remediation works.

      Projects delivering long-term benefit to the broader community are prioritised over short-term remediation works.

      Works primarily focus on remediating impacts on public land. Projects on private land are usually not funded unless there is also a clear public benefit. Landowners with legacy mines on their land are responsible for any remediation and managing risks.

      LMP works are undertaken in consultation with the community, industry and other government agencies.

      Current regulation

      Current mine operators are responsible for mine rehabilitation under the Mining Act 1992.

      All current operating mines must lodge a security deposit for the full cost of rehabilitation at the commencement of operations. That security deposit is used to cover remediation costs if the mining lease holder fails to fulfil their rehabilitation obligations.

      Contact the program

      Contact us at: