MRF Yearly Report highlights benefits of award-winning scheme
|Date:||Thursday, 21 January 2016|
The success of the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s (DMP) pioneering Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) has been highlighted in a new report.
The award-winning MRF initiative was introduced in 2013 to establish a dedicated fund to address the problems posed by abandoned mines.
It requires all tenement holders operating on Mining Act 1978 tenure to contribute to a pooled fund based on the level of environmental disturbance created on individual tenements.
These funds can then be used to rehabilitate abandoned mines once all other efforts to recover funds from the tenement holder have been exhausted.
The interest generated from the MRF funds can also be used to rehabilitate historical abandoned mine sites throughout Western Australia.
DMP Executive Director Environment Dr Phil Gorey said the new MRF Yearly Report 2015 highlighted the continuing success the initiative had made.
“This report provides up to date information about the continuing positive impact that this award-winning initiative is continuing to have,” Dr Gorey said.
“The MRF was developed through extensive stakeholder consultation and has helped establish an ongoing funding source to assist with the rehabilitation of Western Australia’s existing and future abandoned mine sites.
“This ground-breaking initiative has also enabled DMP to focus on rehabilitating historical abandoned mine sites throughout Western Australia, something which was not possible before the introduction of the MRF.”
The MRF replaced the system of Unconditional Performance Bonds (UPBs) that were introduced in the 1980s and used to rehabilitate a mine site in the event that rehabilitation was unable to be undertaken by the operator.
Since the MRF was established, UPBs totalling $1,048,948,276 have been returned freeing up significant amounts of capital for tenement holders.
Projected MRF levy payments for 2014-15 are also expected to reach a record $27,000,000 while more tenement holders than ever before have complied with the department over their reporting obligations.
DMP has also started planning rehabilitation works for five abandoned mine sites across the State based on their history, environmental and safety risks.
“The MRF has won the support of government, the community and industry and continues to go from strength to strength,” Dr Gorey said.
“It has also enabled the State to better manage and rehabilitate abandoned mines, leading to improved environmental and community safety outcomes.”
Last year the MRF was named as the winner in the ‘Developing the Economy’ category of the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management.