Plant & Equipment

Rehabilitation fund starts to collect

As previously reported by Quarry, the Western Australian Government previously offered the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) on a voluntary opt-in basis for a year before making it a mandatory payment for Mining Act 1978 tenement holders on 1 July, 2014.

WA Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) environment executive director Dr Phil Gorey said that 96 per cent of tenement holders had registered by the start of the month, with the DMP receiving positive feedback from industry stakeholders on the fund’s management and implementation.

However, about 1800 tenement holders either did not register or complete their reporting requirements in time.

“The vast majority have done the right thing but unfortunately the holders of more than 1000 tenements had not registered by [the] deadline and can expect to receive fine notices shortly,” WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said, adding that these tenement owners would have 30 days to pay the $4000 fine.

Marmion said that that the fund would free up cash previously held by Unconditional Performance Bonds – a system that the MRF will largely be replacing. “The old bonds system still has more than $900 million in tenement holders’ funds tied up, much of which should be able to be returned to miners, freeing up cash for investment and ongoing rehabilitation,” he said.

Gorey added that the fund would also act as an incentive for companies to conduct ongoing rehabilitation rather than leaving it all until the end of a project. “The less ground disturbed by an activity, the less the tenement holder has to contribute to the fund,” he explained.

Over time, the interest earned fund will be used to rehabilitate abandoned and legacy mine sites across WA.

“We believe the fund is making history in terms of its progressive forward thinking and ability to provide better outcomes for the environment, mining industry and community,” Gorey said.

Source: Western Australian Government

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