Strategic framework for managing abandoned mines in the minerals industry

Ministerial Council on Mineral and Petroleum Resources and Minerals Council of Australia

The Strategic Framework for Managing Abandoned Mines aims to promote a strategic approach to managing abandoned mines so that risks are minimised, sites are managed efficiently and sustainably, and the values associated with these sites are recognised.

Currently, each state and territory has developed its own approach to managing abandoned mine sites. The framework will promote convergence of these approaches across jurisdictions, to address issues such as:

• site inventories and site data management• improved understanding of liability and risk relating to abandoned mines

• improved performance reporting

• the standardisation of processes and methodologies

• knowledge and skill sharing across jurisdictions.

Management of abandoned mines is a complex task requiring government, community and industry involvement and cooperation. Responsibility for managing abandoned mines rests with local governments, state and territory governments, and sometimes private land owners and industry.

The framework provides high-level guidance on issues to be addressed when managing abandoned mines. These issues are discussed in five chapters: valuing abandoned mines; data collection and management; risk assessment and management; resourcing and partnership opportunities; information sharing and ‘leading practice’. Case studies highlight examples where leading practice management has resulted in environmental and social benefits, as well as innovative and sustainable reuse of abandoned sites.

MCMPR & MCA. (2010). Strategic framework for managing abandoned mines in the minerals industry. Canberra, Australia: MCMPR & MCA. 

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Strategic framework for managing abandoned mines in the minerals industry