Mines Minister George Cash has released for public comment a report which addresses conservation and rehabilitation issues associated with the gold mining industry in Western Australia.
The report, compiled by a sub-group of the Minerals Environment Liaison Committee, contains 11 recommendations, including that a survey be undertaken of abandoned mine sites in Western Australia and an inventory compiled.
It has also recommended that consideration be given to a five year program to progressively rehabilitate sites which have a high priority because of public safety hazards or major environmental issues.
Mr Cash said the report, prepared by representatives of the community, industry and government, would be available for public comment for a three month period.
Mr Cash said the report found that rehabilitation of new mines was generally good, despite a substantial growth in the gold mining industry since the mid-1980s.
"However, there are still wide variations in environmental practice in the industry in Western Australia," Mr Cash said.
"Tailing storage design, construction and rehabilitation are still of particular concern, while safety and environmental issues relating to old mine sites are also a continuing problem."
Other recommendations include filling more pits with waste from mines on adjacent tenements or areas disturbed by mining and for more co-operative research by industry and research organisations.
Continuing research is proposed to improve mine waste dump rehabilitation with particular attention being paid to long-term sustainable revegetation of hard rock and clay dumps.
Copies of the report, `Conservation and Rehabilitation in the Gold Mining Industry 1994', are available free of charge from Mineral House in Perth or regional offices.
Submissions will close on February 28 and a final report is expected to be presented to the Minister in April.
Media contacts: Tony Robertson 222 9595 or Carole O'Dwyer 222 3660