The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety's (DMIRS) Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) is a pooled fund to which Western Australian mining operators contribute. The Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012, which provides the framework for the fund, was enacted in 2012.
All tenement holders operating on Mining Act 1978 (Mining Act) tenure (with the exception of tenements covered by State Agreements not listed in the regulations), are required to report disturbance data and contribute annually to the fund. Tenements with a rehabilitation liability estimate (RLE) below a threshold of $50,000 must report disturbance data but are not required to pay into the fund.
Money in the fund is available to rehabilitate abandoned mines across the State in circumstances where the tenement holder/operator fails to meet rehabilitation obligations and every other effort has been used to recover funds from the operator.
Interest earned on fund contributions will be used to fund the administration of the MRF and will also be used to undertake rehabilitation works on legacy abandoned mine sites throughout the State.
As the MRF is a special purpose account under the Financial Management Act 2006, funds must be spent in accordance with the purposes stated in the MRF legislation. The MRF account balance and levy percentage will be monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure that the fund is appropriately managed to meet current and emerging rehabilitation liabilities, as well as administrative costs.
The introduction of the MRF does not absolve tenement holders/operators of their legal obligations to carry out rehabilitation works on a tenement.
The fund will enhance the State's ongoing capacity to manage and rehabilitate abandoned mines, leading to better environmental and community safety outcomes.
The short video provides an overview of the background, implementation and positive results of the MRF.
The Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012 provides for:
- the establishment of the MRF
- the declaration of abandoned mine sites
- a levy payable in respect of mining authorisations
- other related matters.
The Mining Rehabilitation Fund Regulations 2013 are required to deal with matters around the practical operation of the new scheme. Most importantly, these regulations:
- specify how the new mining rehabilitation levy will be calculated. This includes listing categories of land disturbance that will be assessed for the levy, and the per-hectare dollar rates that will apply for each category
- deal with administrative matters about reporting and assessment, including the due date for reporting;
- list the matters that the new Mining Rehabilitation Advisory Panel can advise upon, and set out requirements about the membership and procedure of the Panel; and
- provide for infringement notices to be issued for late assessment information.
MRF Data Release
The MRF data is published on DMIRS's website annually. Released data shows ground disturbance as reported by the tenement holder and can be found in the 'MRF documents' section of this web page.
There are approximately 22,000 mining tenements across the State and, as a requirement of the MRF, all tenement holders are required to provide DMIRS with accurate information of the types and areas of ground disturbance for each tenement. This data is used to calculate the annual MRF levy.
For the first time, this data establishes how much land is actually disturbed in each year by exploration and mining activities on Mining Act tenure. This data builds on the information collected and monitored by DMIRS when it approves and monitors a project.
The released MRF data is available for users to filter and search by region, type of disturbance and type of lease.
The public will also be able to access the data to gain a detailed picture of mining and exploration activities in their area, including the scale of disturbance on tenements that may be the subject of a potential purchase. Some notes on the released data are as follows:
- Mine Activity Types are those that are defined in the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Regulations 2013.
- Where the mine activity type reads 'there is no assessment information for this tenement' , it means that the tenement holder has reported no disturbance or land under rehabilitation for that tenement.
- Where the mine activity type reads 'no report provided', it indicates that the tenement holder did not provide a valid report for that year.
DMIRS will be undertaking audits each year on the data provided by industry to ensure that it provides an accurate representation of the disturbance on tenements. If you have queries regarding the data please email the MRF team.
The MRF Online Calculator assists tenement holders to estimate their rehabilitation liability and the associated MRF levy. The calculator also demonstrates how to reduce the levy through progressive rehabilitation of disturbances on the tenement.
The calculator provides a liability estimate based on the level and type of disturbance and the amount of rehabilitation that has been conducted on a tenement. It allows tenement holders to enter individual activity types, for example roads or tailings storage facilities, or combine multiple activities into a single 'Mine Activity Type' and can assist tenement holders to gauge the potential impact that future rehabilitation work, or expanded operations, may have on the levy calculation.
Tenement holders who use the calculator must still submit their annual MRF disturbance report, as this is not connected to the MRF reporting system. The estimate is intended to be indicative only and the reliability of its results depends on the accuracy of the disturbance information that’s entered.
Use the Rehabilitation Liability Estimate Calculator to determine the applicable RLE and MRF levy based on a range of tenement activity scenarios.
MRF awarded the Premier's Awards 2015
Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett recognised the MRF project for its contribution to economic development within the State by announcing it as a joint winner of the 2015 Western Australia Premier’s Award.
The MRF received the award for excellence in public sector management in the ‘Developing the Economy’ category.
This award recognises projects which stimulate the economy of Western Australia and DMIRS, formerly the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) were awarded as a joint winner in this category along with the Pilbara Ports Authority. DMP were also nominated for the same category in 2014 however finished as a finalist after strong competition from other departments and agencies.
Phone: +61 8 9222 3162
Phone: +61 8 9222 6102
Follow the link to view the Mining Rehabilitation Fund proclamation.
Follow the link to view the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Regulations 2013
Follow the link to view the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012