QLD resources companies to pay for restoration of mine sites

The Queensland Government has presented options for residual risk management of mine sites following the passing of new rehabilitation laws.

Under the laws, mining companies are required to financially contribute to rehabilitation costs for closed mine site “so it isn’t a burden on Queensland taxpayers.”

The released options tackle these residual risk payments, and are published on a discussion paper which helps ensure that former mining land is rehabilitated properly even after the submission of an environmental authority (EA).

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said, “What [the EA] doesn’t take into account is any ongoing monitoring, maintenance and rectification work which may be required on the site in the future.

“The discussion paper sets out alternatives for these residual risk payments. It will also help companies plan rehabilitation early to minimise the residual risks left at the end of mining.”

The environmental regulator may request a residual risk payment from resource companies after the submitted EA has been approved and financial assurance has been returned.

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said, “This acts as a safety net should there be ongoing requirements to monitor or manage the mine site, or the need to rectify failures of rehabilitation.

“It is important Queenslanders are part of this discussion to ensure the Queensland taxpayers are not left to foot the bill when there are unforeseen circumstances.”

The Palaszczuk Government opens the discussion paper for public comment until February 1 2019.