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Conference Paper

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Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Pinkster, H, Planning for Mine Closures, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2004: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2004, 57-76.


Mine closure is not typically something associated with planning to develop a new mining operation, but it is at this stage as well as all other facets of it’s life cycle that it must be considered. BHPB Illawarra Coal operates 4 underground Coal Mines on the South Coast of NSW. In addition to these operational mines Illawarra Coal has responsibility for a number of disused mine entries that have to be rehabilitated. Some of the infrastructure associated with these operations dates back over 150 years and this in itself raises unique issues when it comes to rehabilitation. Under the Mining Act 1992, environmental protection and rehabilitation are regulated by conditions included in all mining leases to ensure that all mining operations are safe, the resources are efficiently extracted, the environment is protected and rehabilitation achieves a stable, satisfactory outcome. The state and status of the numerous Illawarra Coal owned mine entries varies widely but approval from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) is required in all cases prior to their rehabilitation and subsequent removal from our asset base. The future land use is a key driver in many cases as to what should occur with the respective sites and as to the relative timing for the rehabilitation to commence.

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