Mine closure and decommissioning

If you intend to close down a mining site, the site must be rehabilitated so the land can be safely used for other purposes. Rehabilitation should be undertaken progressively both during the mining operation and once mining has ceased.

You must discuss how the land will be used after mining with the department and other stakeholders.

This must be done at the earliest stages of planning and before any approvals are sought.

You must include planning and costing for mine closure and decommissioning in the mining management plan, and review and update the information throughout the mine's life.

Evaluation criteria

The department will use all of the following criteria to assess whether a mine site has been successfully rehabilitated:

  • compatibility with the agreed land use after mining
  • safety
  • low risk to livestock and other animals from contaminated water
  • land stability
  • rubbish clean-up
  • revegetation or other improvements
  • visual impact
  • condition of heritage and archaeological sites.

Get the following handbooks for leading practice advice on rehabilitating and closing mine sites.

Mine closure and completion (3.1 mb)
Mine rehabilitation (3.5 mb)

Apply to close a mining site

To apply to close a mining site, fill in the application for a certificate of closure and submit the application to the department.  

Application for a certificate of closure (70.4 kb)
Application for a certificate of closure (37.1 kb)

You must include a report describing, and providing evidence of, rehabilitation work completed on the site.

After you submit the form, the department will assess the report and may visit the rehabilitated site to confirm rehabilitation has been completed.

When it is satisfied with the rehabilitation, the department will revoke the mining Authorisation and refund the security.

Refund of security

To get your security refunded, you must provide proof that the mining site has been properly rehabilitated and is safe, stable and non-polluting.

Departmental officers may visit the site to assess the rehabilitation. The inspection will determine when and how much security will be refunded or retained for maintenance or monitoring. 

When the department is satisfied with the rehabilitation, any remaining security will be refunded.

Last updated: 13 October 2017