Guideline: Achieving Rehabilitation Completion (Sign-Off) (PDF, 12.75 MB) has been prepared to assist holders of mining leases to identify, track and verify achievement of regulatory obligations under the Mining Act 1992 to achieve rehabilitation completion progressively and before mining lease relinquishment.
In accordance with the provisions of the Mining Act 1992 and the conditions of a mining lease, a lease holder is required to:
- undertake progressive rehabilitation as soon as reasonably practicable after disturbance occurs and over the life of the mine
- ensure that rehabilitation of the mining area achieves the final land use. The final land use for the mining area comprises the final landform and land use(s) to be achieved for the mining area as set out in the following ‘rehabilitation outcome documents’
- rehabilitation objectives statement - which describes the rehabilitation outcomes required to attain the final land use for the mining area
- rehabilitation completion criteria statement - which expands on rehabilitation objectives to define the key criteria, and ‘benchmark values’ for each criterion to be achieved, the attainment of which will demonstrate rehabilitation has been achieved
- final landform and rehabilitation plan (for large mines only) - which spatially depicts the final land use, the final landform topography and the location of rehabilitation features.
- prepare and submit a forward program which includes how rehabilitation will occur as soon as reasonably practicable after disturbance over the next three-year period
- prepare and submit an annual rehabilitation report demonstrating progress made towards achieving the final land use.
The Resources Regulator has responsibility for determining when rehabilitation has achieved the final land use, prior to mining lease relinquishment and return of the security deposit.
Once rehabilitation has achieved the final land use, lease holders can (as relevant):
- lodge a rehabilitation completion application using Form ESF2: Rehabilitation completion and/or review of rehabilitation cost estimate and/or notification of mine or petroleum site closure to seek written confirmation that all rehabilitation obligations under the Mining Act 1992 and the conditions of the mining lease have been fulfilled (i.e. rehabilitation completion and ‘sign-off’). This may include completion of rehabilitation within a particular area of land within the mining lease or completion of rehabilitation across the entire mining lease area.
- apply for a review of the security deposit held by the Department using Form ESF2: Rehabilitation completion and/or review of rehabilitation cost estimate and/or notification of mine or petroleum site closure This may include partial return of the security deposit following completion of rehabilitation within a particular area of land within the mining lease area. Alternatively, it may include full return of security following completion of rehabilitation across the entire mining lease area
- apply to the Department for relinquishment of the mining lease and return of the security deposit (which may include partial or full relinquishment) using Form AD6: Request for full or partial cancellation of an authority
The security deposit can be refunded (in part or in full) once an application has demonstrated that rehabilitation has achieved the final land use to the satisfaction of the Resources Regulator.