A risk-based framework for completion criteria development

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Guy Boggs

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This paper presents a framework for developing risk-based completion criteria. The framework defines a process to develop site-specific completion criteria for mining landscapes, incorporating risk-based assessments and associated monitoring. The framework builds on regulatory guidance and the recent release of the SER International Standards, in which closure or completion criteria are defined as “a detailed description of the measurable outcomes required at a restored site before restoration or rehabilitation works can be considered by a regulator as completed.” While the framework has been informed by evidence from the mining industry in Western Australia, it is relevant to other landscapes requiring rehabilitation or restoration. A review of relevant literature and research, stakeholder interviews and survey, three case studies, and a workshop informed the framework, resulting in identification of six steps in the development of completion criteria. These include post-mining land use, aspects and closure objectives, references, attributes and risk-based prioritisation, criteria development, and monitoring. The framework enables more effective identification of rehabilitation or restoration outcomes through systematic post- mining land use decision making and objective setting and the implementation of adaptive management processes that effectively link monitoring, trajectory assessment and activity implementation. This provides greater certainty and confidence for regulators and industry, assisting in a greater number of mines being successfully rehabilitated or restored and, ultimately, relinquished in a manner that delivers more effective outcomes for the environment and communities. This published framework, the first of its kind, is transferable, nationally and internationally, to other projects requiring land rehabilitation and restoration.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration