The development of acceptable and achievable completion criteria is a necessary part of mine closure planning and fundamental to the successful transition of mined land to a future use. Completion criteria have been defined in the mining context as agreed standards or levels of performance that indicate the success of rehabilitation and enable an operator to determine when its liability for an area will cease. Once achieved, they demonstrate to the mining company, regulators and other stakeholders that financial assurances and liabilities can be removed. Because of this important function it is imperative that completion criteria are effectively formulated to capture end-state goals, are accepted by all stakeholders and agreed by regulators and the proponent, are achievable, and can demonstrate this achievement through transparent and appropriate monitoring and documentation.
While considerable progress has been made in mine closure and rehabilitation planning in Western Australia, there remains a need to build capacity and understanding of how to best measure rehabilitation success and to set practical outcomes and measurable completion criteria, particularly with respect to environmental parameters. To address this gap, The Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI) has brought together leading experts, mining industry representatives and regulatory agencies to develop this report.
This project was carried out to support the prioritisation of data collection and monitoring activity to enable the development and assessment of completion criteria. Consultation with regulators and representatives from the minerals industry in Western Australia has suggested this is a key gap in enabling more effective mine closure. The report is an independent document developed by the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute with two key aims:
- Review the rehabilitation completion criteria and monitoring knowledge base, and
- Develop a science-based framework for post-mining rehabilitation completion criteria and monitoring.
The report has been developed by leading experts in partnership with representatives from key mining industry and regulatory agencies in Western Australia. The report’s development has been strongly informed by the requirements of the resource sector in order to provide information and a decision support framework that best meets the requirements of:
- Mining companies and service providers operating across all geographic regions in Western Australia;
- Regulatory and policy making agencies of government; and
- Public and private research institutions supporting continual improvement
This report has two parts. The first part (Chapter 2) presents a new framework to help guide the decision-making process associated with completion criteria development. The second part (Chapters 3, 4 and 5) document current understanding and perspectives on completion criteria development.