As the mining boom winds down and the mining clean up boom begins, mine site rehabilitation and mine abandonment are emerging as major issues for Australian communities, governments and taxpayers. All stakeholders will need information on the status of mines and their rehabilitation efforts to ensure this is carried out in a way that does not leave taxpayers and the environment with the costs of abandoned mines and poorly rehabilitated sites.
Unfortunately few reliable statistics are available. This report focusing on New South Wales (NSW) and is the first in a series that will compile data from each state’s relevant department on numbers of mines that are operating, have suspended operations (often referred to as“care and maintenance”), are being closed and have been abandoned. We also summarise available information on the environmental bonds that miners pay to governments. Results for NSW are based mainly on correspondence with the agency responsible for overseeing the mining industry, the Division of Resources and Energy (DRE).