The outlines, which are Australia's first partnership on the topic between government and industry, included input from industry representatives and leading science experts. The goal of the guidance is to offer environmental criteria that mine operators can use to demonstrate successful and sustainable rehabilitation for their sites after mining has ceased.
The outlines are entitled "A framework for developing mine site completion criteria in Western Australia" and were developed by the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute. The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has additionally endorsed it.
"While the new guidance primarily targets the resources sector, other industries can potentially use the guidance when undertaking ecological restoration," the agency said.
Johnston added that it will add greater clarity on the development of closure programmes, which could result in better rehab outcomes.
"Effective mine closure is critical to ensure the long-term environmental sustainability of the industry," he pointed out. "Working together with industry to improve regulation and regulatory practice is a key part of the McGowan Government's Streamline WA initiative."