The Division of Resources and Energy (the department) is responsible for ensuring that the people of NSW do not incur a financial liability as a result of coal, mineral and petroleum exploration and production activities.

Therefore, all titleholders engaged in these activities are required to lodge a security deposit.

The security deposit must cover the Government’s full costs in undertaking rehabilitation in the event of default by the titleholder.

The titleholder is required to provide the department with an estimate of rehabilitation costs. DRE will consider this estimate when determining the amount of the security deposit.

The department is responsible for determining when rehabilitation has met the required standard, taking into account the rehabilitation objectives and completion criteria, before the title is relinquished and the security deposit released.

When determining whether to release a security deposit, the following will be considered:

  • Whether the rehabilitation objectives and completion criteria have been met (the titleholder must demonstrate that rehabilitation has met the required standards)
  • Whether all other legal obligations relating to environment and safety have been met, and
  • The responsibilities for ongoing management of the site.

The security deposit will be released to the person who provided the deposit or, if that person cannot be located then to the titleholder. If both the person who provided the deposit and the titleholder cannot be located, the security deposit will be paid into the Derelict Mine Sites Fund.

The department requires titleholders to undertake progressive rehabilitation over the life of the exploration program or mining operations. Progressive rehabilitation will be supported by the partial release of the security deposit when successful rehabilitation has been demonstrated. If the rehabilitation obligations have not been met to the satisfaction of the Minister or Secretary, then part or all of the security deposit shall be forfeited. These funds will then be used by the Government to meet the rehabilitation requirements.