Simply stated, mining activities generally involve the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials in the form of ores from the earth.
Upon the completion of mining activities, local legislation from the custodians of the land in which the mining operations were conducted usually require mine rehabilitation in an effort to minimize & mitigate the environmental effects of mining. Mining rehabilitation is defined as the process of returning the land in a given area to some degree of its former state.
Additionally for the sake of the health and safety of the people around abandoned mines, it is necessary to permanently cap the underground mines and prevent any form of access. The capping process prevents curious human beings from exploring the underground environment without the full understanding of the dangers inherent within.
In reality mining organizations begin planning for mine closure and rehabilitation early on; even before a mine is allowed to open, a rehabilitation plan must be set in place for its closure. In a rehabilitation plan the mining operator describes the processes it will utilize to attempt to restore or redevelop the land that has been mined to a more natural or economically usable state.
Mining rehabilitation includes the following:
Design of Rehabilitation Measures
Hydrology (surface water) & Pollution Control
Overburden Material Classification
Land Recon touring
Seeding and Revegetation