The industry’s approach to mine rehabilitation has improved significantly over past decades, in line with community expectations.

By law, licensees (licence holders) need to rehabilitate any land disturbed by work under an exploration or mining licence.

Rehabilitation works need to happen in line with work plans and licence conditions. The licensee has to consult with the landholder about the proposed work.

Rehabilitation commitments can continue beyond the life of a licence.

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A rehabilitation plan is part of the work plan and a vital part of the licence application.

A rehabilitation plan needs to include:

  1. Concepts for the final use of the mine site.
  2. Proposals for the progressive rehabilitation, stabilisation and revegetation of the mine site and other land affected by the operations.
  3. Proposals for landscaping to reduce the visual impact of the mine site.
  4. Proposals for the final rehabilitation and closure of the site, including the removal of plant and equipment and security of the site.

A rehabilitation plan also needs to take into account:

  • any special characteristics of the land
  • the surrounding environment
  • the need to stabilise the land
  • returning agricultural land to a state that's as close as reasonably possible to its original state
  • any potential long term degradation of the environment.

For more information, please refer to:

A rehabilitation bond is a financial security paid by a licensee (licence holder) before work starts at a site. This ensures we can complete rehabilitation works in case the licensee is unable to do so.

Rehabilitation bonds need to be lodged for operations on both private and Crown land. Standards of rehabilitation on private land are mainly a matter for landowners.

However, the department has an interest in ensuring land meets the correct standards for public safety, facilities and possible impacts on the wider environment.

We regularly review rehabilitation bonds to ensure they stay at correct levels during the operation. We also review the bond when a licensee submits a work plan variation; a licence is transferred; or when the licence holder requests a review.

Regular review of the rehabilitation bond against environmental impacts provides incentive for the operator to complete gradual rehabilitation.

We are working with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to prepare a regional rehabilitation strategy to guide rehabilitation planning for the Latrobe Valley's three brown coal mines.

The regional rehabilitation strategy is a key part of our response to the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry's recommendations.

Learn more about the Latrobe Valley coal mine rehabilitation bond policy.

Page last updated: 22 Oct 2019