Dodging clean up costs: Six tricks coal mining companies play

ProduceScreen Shot 2016-08-30 at 11.01.17 amd & published by Environmental Justice Australia in April 2016, this report looks at six methods that coal companies operating in Australia currently use to avoid, minimize or delay their rehabilitation obligations in New South Wales and Queensland. The report finds that the existing legal framework – as well as those overseeing it – allow public and private companies to rort the system by avoiding their rehabilitation responsibilities. The result is unnecessary, and in some cases extreme, costs that are borne by the taxpayer when proper rehabilitation is performed. As demand for coal falters and prices fall, mine closure looms, and the prospect of rehabilitation becomes a reality for most coal miners. Established, well-resourced coal companies are rapidly exiting their coal positions and there is a trend for inexperienced, newly created companies to buy marginally profitable mines, all of which will require rehabilitation. The case studies in this report, all within the last two years, illustrate the methods companies successfully employ to avoid, minimise or indefinitely postpone rehabilitation obligations.

Download the full report here.