NSW Auditor-General’s Report into Mine Rehabilitation Bond Framework

May 11, 2017

Thursday May 11 2017

NSW Auditor-General’s Report into Mine Rehabilitation Bond Framework

The NSW Minerals Council welcomes the completion of the NSW Auditor General’s report into the mine rehabilitation bond framework.

The NSW mining industry participated in and contributed to the Auditor General’s inquiry. Now the Report has been completed we will take time to examine the Auditor General’s findings and recommendations,

We note the Auditor-General’s observation that “...the security deposits held by the Department generally align with the approved rehabilitation cost estimate”.

This in contrast to the bond framework in Victoria and Queensland, where, the report identifies, “deposit amounts held fell below the calculated costs”.

We also note the Auditor-General’s recommendation on the need to update the method of calculating mine rehabilitation costs. We are already working with the Department of Planning and Environment on their proposed new Rehabilitation Cost Estimate calculator that will soon be introduced to update the existing calculation method.

Additionally, the NSW Minerals Council welcomes the Auditor-General’s observation that the entire mine rehabilitation framework was developed by the NSW Government with the goal of keeping the bond as a last line of defence. Mine operators are currently required to meet and report on a host of regulatory obligations, including publishing regular updates of ongoing rehabilitation works. If these requirements are not met the operator can be prosecuted.

“Since the introduction of the current system twelve years ago there has not been a single incident of a major mine becoming insolvent in NSW, while over the same period the amount held in rehabilitation bonds has grown to well over $2 billion,” NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee commented.

“We are committed to working within the best possible rehabilitation framework that delivers community confidence and world’s best practice rehabilitation outcomes,” Mr Galilee said.

Contact: Harry Stutchbury | hstutchbury@nswmining.com.au | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419


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