In practice mine site rehabilitation is not necessarily about returning the land to its former state or use.
Instead, mine site rehabilitation is the act of returning the land to a feasible and most valued post-mining land use.
Mining Companies should consider developing a more refined land rehabilitation plan within six months of commencement of operations.
Basic principles of reclamation including:
- Progressively rehabilitate sites where possible,
- Reshape areas disturbed by mining operations to the extent possible to attain:
- Site stability
- Adequate drainage to minimize erosion,
- Compatibility with desired long-term land use, and
- Surface conducive to re-vegetation.
- Salvage and stockpile topsoil (growth medium) in accordance with suitability for reclamation,
- Identify alternate substrates for use as growth medium (e.g., overburden, oxidized waste material),
- Incorporate use of local or native species in re-vegetation plan,
- Remove all facilities and equipment not required for restoration in a timely manner,
- Properly dispose of residual hazardous materials,
- Identify overburden and exposed strata that may be deleterious to water quality or re-vegetation efforts and
- Monitor and manage rehabilitated areas until vegetation is self-sustaining and all reclamation objectives have been met.