Land rehabilitation

  • Share

Once a mineral deposit is exhausted, mining companies have a responsibility to work towards land rehabilitation – the return of disturbed land to a stable and productive condition. For an older site this post-closure phase may even last longer than its operational life.

As a mining operation approaches the end of its life, there should be a clear plan for transitioning from operational to closure and decommissioning and, ultimately, post-closure. Properly done, such a transition is characterised by:

Rehabilitation of the land disturbed by mining needs to not be an afterthought, only starting towards the end of an operation but should instead be a continual activity. Responsible mining companies should undertake rehabilitative actions, including remedy of environmental risks, return of disturbed land and stabilisation of creeks and drainage channels across the full lifetime of an operation.

Land rehabilitation, like any other post-closure activity, requires regular review to best reflect evolving events and requirements. Mining operations should for example, be sensitive to:

This adaptive approach better allows mining and metals operations to reflect the potentially changing nature of operations and social and environmental conditions.

Download the Planning for integrated mine closure toolkit.