The Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) yearly report has been released by the The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, outlining the MRF and Abandoned Mines Program’s (AMP) major achievements and activities throughout 2022–2023.
The MRF is a pooled fund, which Western Australian mineral tenement holders contribute to, and is essential to the state’s capacity to manage and rehabilitate abandoned mines.
During the year, mining rehabilitation levies totaling $42.8 million were assessed, representing a 9.2 per cent increase from the previous year.
The MRF compliance team reviewed 1,665 tenements and found 203 tenements required amendments to their submission. The outcomes of the annual compliance plan resulted in additional levy payments of $376,508.77 and refunds of $13,071.40.
As at 30 June 2023, the net balance of funds was $291.2 million including $3.1 million in net interest.
The principal funds are available for abandoned mines across Western Australia in circumstances where the tenement holder/operator (that contributed levies to the MRF) has failed to meet rehabilitation obligations and efforts to recover funds from the holder/operator have been unsuccessful.
The work carried out by the AMP has been prioritised on a risk basis, with consideration to significant risks to the community and environment.
Major progress was made on the AMP’s Ellendale project. The first phase of significant safety works is now complete with the removal and clean-up of all redundant and obsolete infrastructure and equipment across the former diamond mining lease.
Notable achievements include zero recordable injuries or incidents, as well as the removal of all waste materials (7,184 t ) to off-site licensed disposal facilities. Of those materials, 55 per cent were recycled.
In collaboration with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, the AMP completed several key actions to reduce community and environmental risks associated with the Donnybrook Shafts project area. Rehabilitation works were successfully completed by a local Indigenous business and the site continues to be monitored.