Mining rehabilitation

Understanding mine rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is a crucial (and usually legally-required) part of the mining cycle. In broad terms, mine rehabilitation (also referred to as reclamation) is the restoration of a post-mine landscape according to pre-planned, post-mining land use (PMLU). This is done in accordance with strict protocols and for a variety of reasons, but the main objectives are to minimize and mitigate the effects of mining on the environment.

Leaving a legacy

Regulations differ throughout the world but, by and large, when mining ends, operators are required to restore the land to near its approximate original contours or leave the land in a state for usage that was approved as part of the original mining permit application. In ideal terms, successful mine reclamation leaves a useful landscape. This PMLU can be anything from the restoration of productive ecosystems to the creation of public facilities, commercial and residential properties, and recreational or agricultural land use.

Unitrans Supply Chain Solutions offers reclamation as part of its portfolio. Not only does Unitrans do this because we understand the importance that mining houses place on ESG (environmental, social, and governance), but perhaps more importantly because sustainability forms a fundamental part of Unitrans’ ethos.

It doesn’t start when it ends

While the actual rehabilitation of a mine can (in theory) occur only once mining operations on a site have ceased, the planning of mine reclamation activities forms part of the initial planning and is in ongoing evolution throughout the lifespan of the mine.

This planning includes aspects from CAD-assisted 3D modeling of the disturbed landscape and its drainage to the landscape design of the ideal contours and drainage post reclamation. It also includes crucial planning sessions with regulators and stakeholders. For Unitrans Africa, these negotiations are a critical element of a successful reclamation process.