Implementation of mine rehabilitation and closure occurs at different levels; from the implementation of dump design plans down to the level of on-the-ground works like construction of drainage works, soil spreading, surface preparation, and seeding. Implementing is the next activity in the continual improvement cycle.

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Mine Closure Leading Practice Booklet

For mine rehabilitation activities it is often much clearer which tasks are specific to implementing rehabilitation as this can start very early in the mine's life and continue progressively until the end. In this way rehabilitation can be seen as a sub-set of tasks within the umbrella theme of implementing closure. Often rehabilitation may be seen as the purely biophysical aspects of closure however, there are social and economic dimensions, particularly where post-mining land use values change in the process and communities are engaged in shaping the outcomes.

Leading Practice Mine Rehabilitation booklet

Implementation of Rehabilitation, with reference to the Leading Practice handbook on Mine Rehabilitation includes the following activities;

  • Landform construction 
  • Species selection 
  • Establishment of a plant growth medium 
  • Physical amelioration 
  • Chemical amelioration 
  • Biological amelioration Fauna recolonisation Rehabilitation management

Setting aside sufficient funding for decommissioning and closure is a task which needs to be implemented during the mines life, even if that provision is not yet required. Engagement with stakeholders which includes other non-regulatory agencies, communities and landholders close to the mine is an essential part of closure planning to agree on post-mining land uses. Reaching agreement on post-mining land uses, is a life of mine closure implementation task which should occur in a structured and deliberate manner to ensure there is the best opportunity for agreement upon, and the creation of suitable post-mining land uses. There may also be contractual arrangements established during the operational phase of a mine which sets up small to medium enterprises to undertake specific rehabilitation and/or closure related tasks. This may include indigenous and other local employment. The mine closure leading practice booklet aims to identify the closure-related activities which will be implemented during each stage of the mining life cycle if preparation for closure is to be effective.

The actual task of implementing closure includes decommissioning. Decommissioning works, decontamination of contaminated land as well as closure works, including management of water throughout this process, are all closure implementation tasks. Some domains within a mine may be completed before other domains enabling progressive decommissioning of infrastructure followed by rehabilitation of disturbed areas and/or containment of wastes and revegetation prior to closure. Advantages of progressive completion of areas is to reduce liabilities which may influence financial assurance held. Progressive rehabilitation also demonstrates or tests rehabilitation methods providing opportunities for trust building with stakeholders. By showing the regulator and other stakeholders how rehabilitation is done, plans become a reality. Over the life of a mine as fauna move into areas of rehabilitation, the opportunities are provided for ongoing monitoring to evaluate whether rehabilitation is functioning well, and tracking toward completion criteria.

The following articles are examples, but not a complete list of articles included in this MRC-wiki which fit under the continual improvement part of the cycle of 'Implementing';

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