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Cleaning up after miners walk away: Are you ok with footing the bill?

 EDO LawJam was held on 22 August 2016.: ‘Cleaning up after miners walk away: Are you ok with footing the bill?’

The key points identified by our three speakers were:

  1. Ensure experienced, independent environmental departmental officers are employed by the Department and enlisted to assist with environmental management of abandoned mine sites;
  2. Independent assessment of what bonds should be;
  3. Provide high, strict standards for rehabilitation companies should have working towards;
  4. Invest more money into research for solutions;
  5. Change the planning system so that miners are forced to plan for closure from the point of application, and that the miners can be held to implement their plans;
  6. Cash bonds are required by the government up front, can be over first 1-5 years of operation if need be – use interest to fund rehabilitation of abandoned mines;
  7. Require progressive rehab, with strict standards that are enforceable if they are not achieved – ensure this is quantified percentage of disturbance area each year;
  8. Work to engage the public so that they are informed of the issue;
  9. Put systems in place to avoid regulatory capture by the industry.