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Environmental Conservation, Mine Rehabilitation and Land Restoration Policies and Best Practices in Australia

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Australia is a success story in sustainable mining practices because it has adopted a number of best practices in environmental protection before, during, and after mining activities. Implementing strict environmental impact assessments (EIAs) prior to mining activity is one such example. The EIA procedure used in Australia makes sure that possible environmental effects are fully evaluated and that effective mitigation measures are put in place. For instance, a thorough EIA was conducted on the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, which led to the development of measures to safeguard groundwater supplies and lessen the impact on delicate ecosystems.
Australia places a strong emphasis on progressive rehabilitation during mining operations with the goal of returning mined land to a state resembling its pre-mining state or designated post-mining land use. One successful example is the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia, which is owned by BHP. It includes a programme of progressive rehabilitation in which ongoing mining operations coexist with land rehabilitation. With this strategy, the amount of disturbed ground is kept to a minimum, erosion is lessened, and natural vegetation may be more easily re-established.
Australia has had success with mine site rehabilitation and closure planning after mining. As an example, the Ranger Uranium mining in the Northern Territory has undergone substantial rehabilitation work to rehabilitate the mining site. These activities include re-vegetation, long-term water quality monitoring, and contouring and covering waste rock mounds. The mine site is currently transforming into a national park, demonstrating the accomplishment of environmental rehabilitation and the fusion of mining and conservation goals.
Khadija Omar Said
Mining and Mineral Processing Engineer (MSc)
IVOD Global Mining Communities Consultant
This topic was modified 10 months ago by IVOD

Suleiman Deche
Member Admin
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 37

Australia has indeed made commendable strides in adopting sustainable mining practices, making it a notable success story in this regard. The emphasis on comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) before commencing mining activities is a crucial aspect of responsible mining. Such assessments ensure that potential environmental impacts are thoroughly assessed and effective mitigation measures are established. 

Closer home, Bamburi Cement is doing a commendable job in terms of aligning mining goals with environmental conservation goals. The transformation of the mine site into a national park serves as a tangible example of achieving environmental rehabilitation and aligning mining activities with conservation goals.

All in all, Australia's efforts in implementing best practices throughout the mining lifecycle, from pre-mining assessments to rehabilitation and closure planning, serve as a model for responsible mining that aims to minimize environmental impact and ensure the sustainable use of natural resources.

Member Admin
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In comparison to back in time, mine rehabilitation and closure (MR&C)  has come a long way towards ensuring that processes are in place to minimize environmental risks. Mine rehabilitation in Australia initially was all about establishing some form of vegetation cover and post mine land use has come to include the restoration of pre existing ecosystems as well as social elements. The traditional lands of indigenous people in Australia are often abundant in mineral resources and have been subjected to mineral exploration and extraction since early European settlements.With the increased focus on land and economic rights for Indigenous communities, there has been significant discussion about the role of mining in facilitating the increased social and economic well-being of Indigenous people who live in the remote, mineral rich areas. Considering Indigenous peoples always have ‘more to lose and significantly less to gain’ from the erosion of their natural capital ensuring the ongoing social, economic and environmental well-being of such communities should be the priority of MR&C regulation. Courtesy of MR &C improved practices have also stemmed from mine sites becoming a major environmental risk after closure with a focus on the engagement, participation and decision-making power and control of local communities as well as on land rights and agreement made between local communities and mine operators.

This post was modified 8 months ago by MariamManzu