Mine remediation

Mine remediation

The Royal Society of Queensland has no formal policy on mine rehabilitation.



On 20 April 2017 expert members of the Society participated in a ‘hackathon’ at the Sustainability Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, co-hosted by the TJ Ryan Foundation, Queensland’s home-grown think tank. (To avoid a potential conflict of interest, the Society was not involved in sponsoring this event).

A summary of the hackathon was furnished to the Queensland Government in the form of a submission .

Treasury’s Financial Assurance Scheme Outsourced

Subsequently Queensland Treasury published an Abandoned Mines Discussion Paper with public comments closing on 16 July 2018. It has also announced the appointment of a consortium of companies to advise it, two having extensive involvement in the mining industries:

“The Risk Advisor we have selected to assist in the design, implementation and operation of the Scheme is a Consortium led by KPMG that includes Advisian and Australia Ratings. ….  They will work with industry to successfully implement and operate the Scheme.” (Public email from Queensland Treasury, 15 June 2018).

Media and Commentary

Member Corinne Unger, Senior Research Officer, Sustainable Minerals Institute, was interviewed by Wendy Harmer on an ABC Breakfast (Sydney) program on abandoned mines on 17 February. Corinne is an international expert on life-cycle analysis of mining. Corinne’s audio file is now available.

Member David Marlow published an Opinion Piece in Volume 121 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, 2016, entitled “Rehabilitation of land disturbed by mining and extractive industries in Queensland: Some needed legislative and management reforms”. Copies are free to members. Non-members are able to purchase via the Society’s agent Informit .

Annotated bibliography

In 2020 the Australian Government established the Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME) to coordinate investment in research that addresses the complex challenges underpinning mine closure and relinquishment. As is standard with Cooperative Research Centres, the initiative is based upon “collaboration” between public authorities, the mining industries, academe and civil society. It is unlikely to be a vehicle for stronger regulation or enforcement.

Member Ms Corinne Unger’s submission to the 2017 inquiry and an attachment are also available on the inquiry’s website.