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Mining Project Rehabilitation and Closure Guidelines: Papua New Guinea

Mine closure and reclamation should be conducted progressively and planned for from the early stages of a mining project in order to maximize the beneficial outcomes following closure.

Opportunities to achieve sustainable post-mining land uses decrease over time. Poor decisions in planning and operation made early in the mine life can reduce closure options and result in poorer closure outcomes related to land stability and fertility, water quality, biodiversity and aesthetics.

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is home to mining operations that range in scale and proximity to communities. Mining operations last from a few years to decades, and vary in their degree of rehabilitation and mine closure (RMC) planning. This document is intended to provide direction on RMC planning in PNG, including through RMC Plan evolution throughout the mine life, plan contents and submission requirements, financial assurance (FA) provisions and inclusions/exclusions. Guidance on sustainable post-closure land use, closure criteria and community engagement is also provided.

This document provides guidance for the administration, regulation and monitoring of the rehabilitation and mine closure obligations in PNG, with the understanding that mine sites exist in various stages of operation and evolution (through proposal variations and permitted amendments) and will consequently require different content within their RMC Plans. The spirit and intent of this document is in conformance with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Mine Closure: Checklist for Governments and the International Council on Mining and Metals Integrated Mine Closure – Good Practice Guide (2nd edition), both of which may be reviewed for additional background information.