Mining contracts are conditional on rehabilitation

Dr David Laurence: "The companies have a contract with government through the mining lease in this country.  In some countries it’s called the mining licence, in New South Wales it’s a mining lease.  And that contract says that you are allowed to develop the resource for the benefit of stakeholders, including your shareholders, with the condition that…in fact there are hundreds of conditions that you shall progressively rehabilitate, you shall do this, you shall put at the end of mining you shall have trees that are made as high.  That you will consult with your community, that you have open days to show what you’re doing.  So there’s a whole series of conditions placed on them.  And importantly there is a bond.  And this bond could be $50 million, it could be $100 million in some of these bigger operations, which they didn’t have 30 years ago.  So if a company, if the price of gold, for example, dropped overnight, companies went bust, tax payer was caught holding the baby.  That’s changed now.  The other thing of course is the environmental awareness has increased remarkably and people in government are also – they’re quite skilled at that.  In fact there’s, environmental scientists in both governments and industry probably at a similar level.  They understand the issues and they often work together to remediate, to work on those issues."

Categories: Coal in Australia, Environment, Environment & Climate, Government, Sustainable Mining
Author: Dr David Laurence
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