Progressive rehabilitation and closure plan for mined land
Progressive rehabilitation and closure plan (PRC plan) requirements for resource activities take effect from the 1 November 2019 (PRC plan start date) to implement key elements of the Mined Land Rehabilitation Policy (PDF, 1.3MB).
All mines with a site-specific environmental authority (EA) must prepare a PRC plan.
EAs granted before 1 November 2019
All site-specific mining EA applications that were granted prior to 1 November 2019 (PRC plan start date) will transition to the PRC plan framework over a 3 year period.
If you are the relevant holder of the EA, you will receive a transition notice from the administering authority requiring you to submit a PRC plan within a time frame of at least 6 months.
EAs granted after 1 November 2019
If you are applying for a new site-specific EA application for mining leases, you will be required to submit a PRC plan with any EA application submitted after 1 November 2019.
A PRC plan requires you, as the EA holder, to plan for how and where activities will be carried out on the land in a way that maximises the progressive rehabilitation of the land to a stable condition.
A PRC plan consists of 2 parts:
- A rehabilitation planning part
- PRCP schedule.
As an applicant, you will submit a proposed PRC plan with a completed PRCP schedule to the administering authority. The administering authority then assesses the plan and approves the final PRCP schedule.
A PRCP schedule includes a final site design map that identifies the post-mining land uses (PMLUs) and any non-use management areas (NUMAs). The PRCP schedule also includes a table of milestones and any conditions imposed by the administering authority.
Just like an EA, it is an offence for an EA holder to contravene a condition of a PRCP schedule.
Applying for a PRCP schedule
If you are required to submit a PRC plan, you must apply using the Submission of a progressive rehabilitation and closure plan (ESR/2019/4957) (DOCX, 214KB) form.
Your PRC plan must meet the requirements set out under the EP Act and the progressive rehabilitation and closure plan guideline (ESR/2019/4964) (PDF, 2.3MB).
Applications can be made at any time unless your project is captured by the transitional provisions. Your completed PRC plan can be lodged to the Department of Environment and Science business centre appropriate to your resource.
For further information on the requirements for your PRC plan, read the Voids in flood plains (ESR/2019/4966) (PDF, 375KB) and the Non-use management area (ESR/2019/4954) (PDF, 293KB) information sheets.
For help with applying for your PRC plan, it is recommended that all applicants contact your relevant business centre to arrange a pre-lodgement discussion.
Amending a PRCP schedule
As the holder of a PRC plan you may, at any time, apply to the administering authority to amend your PRCP schedule (an amendment application). An application may be made to amend only the PRCP schedule, or as part of an amendment application for an EA.
An amendment application may be:
- a minor amendment (PRCP threshold) as defined under section 223 of the EP Act
- a major amendment, which is an amendment that is not a minor amendment.
Surrendering your PRCP schedule
If you are an EA holder you cannot surrender a PRCP schedule on its own. However, on approval of an EA surrender application, the PRCP schedule will cease to have effect (section 269A of the EP Act).
If you surrender your EA, and there is a PRCP schedule in place, you must submit a post-mining management report. This is required in lieu of the final rehabilitation report that is required for other EAs that contain rehabilitation conditions.
The post-mining management report must:
- be in the approved form
- state the requirements for ongoing management of the land
- propose the residual risks associated with the rehabilitation of the land
- include an environmental risk assessment for the land that complies with section 264(2) of the EP Act
- include any other matter prescribed by regulation.
The surrender application must also include a compliance statement for the EA and the PRCP schedule. The compliance statement must state:
- the extent to which the relevant activities carried out under the EA have complied with the conditions of the authority
- whether the rehabilitation milestones and management milestones under the schedule have been met
- the extent to which conditions imposed on the schedule have been complied with
- the extent to which the post-mining management report is accurate and complies with the content requirements listed above.
Following the PRC plan start date, there will be a 3-year transition period where the administering authority will issue a transition notice to all existing companies holding a site-specific EA for their mining activity.
EA holders will be required to develop and submit a proposed PRC plan by a specified date (not less than 6 months from the day the notice is given).
If you hold a site-specific mining EA and wish to voluntarily develop a proposed PRC plan before receiving the transition notice, you should contact the relevant business centre. The administering authority is only required to start assessing a transitional PRC plan once it has been submitted in accordance with a transition notice.
Minerals Business Centre
Phone: (07) 4222 5352
Coal Business Centre
Phone: (07) 4987 9320
Forms and fees
Find out more about the forms and fees involved in PRC plans.
Frequently asked questions
For more information on PRC plans and schedules, check out the frequently asked questions (PDF, 178KB).
Read about the community consultation regarding PRC plans (PDF, 239KB).