Abandoned mine management in Queensland

The Queensland Government’s Abandoned Mine Lands Program (AMLP) is responsible for assessing abandoned mine sites and reducing public health and safety risks.

Our aim is to make abandoned mines (and operating plant):

  • safe - by removing or mitigating hazards on site to prevent potential exposure of the surrounding community
  • secure - by implementing control measures to limit the level of adverse impacts to the surrounding and downstream environments
  • durable - by minimising the ongoing maintenance and monitoring requirements for a site (including geotechnical and geochemical stability)
  • productive - by investigating opportunities to commercialise abandoned mines or repurpose the land for a future appropriate use.

Our approach is detailed in the Abandoned mines management policy (PDF, 121KB) and the Risk and prioritisation framework for abandoned mine management and remediation (PDF, 1.2MB).

Abandoned mines in Queensland

Sites are classed as ‘abandoned’ once a mining tenure no longer exists.

There are about 120 complex abandoned mine sites in Queensland. Some, such as Mount MorganMount Oxide, and Hopeland (ex-Linc Energy), are currently managed through the Abandoned Mine Lands Program (AMLP).

The program also manages subsidence issues at Collingwood Park and remediation of smaller mine sites. Since 2013, the program has made safe more than 450 mine features at 138 sites.

Strengthening rehabilitation obligations

Most abandoned mines date from before 2000, before Queensland laws were amended to provide stronger environmental management and rehabilitation requirements for mining activities.

Financial provisioning scheme legislation was passed in late 2018 and came into effect from 1 April 2019, further strengthening requirements.

The scheme will reduce the financial risk to government if a resource authority holder fails to meet their environmental and rehabilitation obligations. Grants provided by the scheme will also support the rehabilitation of abandoned mines and improvements in rehabilitation techniques.