Mining companies should pay a bond for site rehabilitation: Chapple

Tuesday, 12th June 2018

Mining and Pastoral MP Robin Chapple has today called for the reintroduction of a bond system for miners, to replace the ineffective Mining Rehabilitation Fund in the wake of concerns taxpayers could cop a $529 million clean-up bill for a Pilbara mine.

A Senate inquiry revealed that WA mining executives could provide no examples of a mine rehabilitated to ‘high quality’ despite there being 11,411 abandoned mine sites and 192,523 mining ‘features’ across WA as of 2014.

Mr Chapple said that with the potential for Citic Pacific to abandon the Cape Preston mine it is clear that the Mining Rehabilitation Fund was not working, and that a stricter bond system would be more effective for ensuring mining companies pay to rehabilitate the areas they damage.

“We need to change the legislation here in WA to reintroduce the bond system, to make sure mining companies ae not able to trash the joint and then disappear into the sunset when business goes South.

“If you are renting a house and cause clear damage, in most cases you have to sacrifice your bond. Why shouldn’t this be the case for mining companies?

“Responsible mining has its place, we do need these minerals, but we need to make mining companies clean up after themselves.

“The Mining Rehabilitation Fund has a cap of $500,000 in liability estimates, and these are self-assessed by the company in most cases rather than the Department. We should make miners cover the full cost of rehabilitation and we need the Department to be the ones assessing it, not the company itself.

“WA has nearly 200,000 abandoned mining features including shafts, at best they’re eyesores, at worst they are dangerous. You only have to look at Wittenoom to see that in action.

“Let’s stop mining companies from being able to chuck a runner and make sure we’re looking after the land.”

Media Contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

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