Declared Mines

For details on the rehabilitation of the state’s Declared Mines, please view the Latrobe Valley coal mines information.


Effective site rehabilitation underpins confidence in both the resources industry and the regulator – the commitments made upon approval of a resources project must be fulfilled when it is finished.

Authority holders are responsible for rehabilitating their sites to achieve safe, stable and sustainable final landforms to protect people, land, infrastructure and the environment, as required under Victoria’s laws for the regulation of earth resources activities.

Authority holders are encouraged to proactively plan and conduct site rehabilitation throughout the full life cycle of their resource project.

Authority holders are required to lodge a Rehabilitation Bond to cover 100 per cent of the estimated cost to rehabilitate their sites, which can be drawn on by the state if they default on their rehabilitation obligations.

Estimated rehabilitation liabilities and resultant bonds are determined based on the activities required to rehabilitate each individual site.

All rehabilitation bonds are required in the form of an unconditional bank guarantee issued by a bank authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to operate in Australia, except for:

  • cash bonds, which will be accepted for rehabilitation liabilities estimated to cost up to $50,000
  • parent company guarantees (PCG) combined with a bank guarantee, which will be accepted for the major coal mines in the Latrobe Valley, subject to the eligibility requirements set in the Rehabilitation Bond Policy for the Latrobe Valley Coal Mines.

Rehabilitation bonds must be lodged before site works begin and can be adjusted during the life of a resource project, taking account of relevant changes in work approvals and any completed rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation bonds are required for operations on private and Crown land.

The Earth Resources Regulator (ERR) is committed to transparency in its regulation of authority holders’ site rehabilitation, within the context of Victoria’s resources laws, and will continue to refine its regulatory practice based on experience.


Rehabilitation Liability Internal Review for Extractive Authority Holders

The Earth Resources Regulator is offering extractive authority holders the ability to seek an internal review of the rehabilitation liability decision. Authority holders can make a written request for internal review within 14 days of receipt of the bond notice, on the following grounds:

  • An error or omission has been made in determining the bond and there would be a material difference to the bond amount.
  • ERR failed to adhere to its own process in determining the bond (see process below).
  • ERR failed to otherwise comply with the requirements of natural justice in making the bond decision.

Request for internal review should be submitted to The request must include the reasons for seeking internal review and supporting evidence.

Resources Victoria will review all supporting evidence and assess whether the bond determination process was followed. Authority holders will receive an outcome of the internal review request within 30 days.

The internal review process has been put in place in line with good regulatory principles and to ensure that a robust decision-making process is followed. The internal review process does not affect authority holders’ rights to seek judicial review.

Rehabilitation Liability Process

A rehabilitation bond is a financial security which must be provided by an authority holder prior to commencing work. The rehabilitation bond must reflect 100 per cent of the estimated rehabilitation cost.

The condition of a rehabilitation bond is that the authority holder rehabilitates the land as required by section 78 or 78A of the Act.

Rehabilitation bonds will be reviewed when a work plan or work plan variation is approved, prior to a tenement being transferred or renewed, when requested by the tenement holder or as directed by the Minister.

Rehabilitation Bonds

The initial bond amount is calculated to address the rehabilitation liability in full based on the works specified in the approved work plan.

Bond reviews are calculated on the existing rehabilitation liability at the time of the review plus any proposed further works that are approved within the work plan and/or stage within the work plan. For both the initial bond and bond reviews, the rehabilitation liability is calculated on achieving the final safe, stable and sustainable rehabilitated landform as specified in the rehabilitation plan.

Rehabilitation Bond Calculator

The rehabilitation bond calculator is the recommended method for assessing the rehabilitation liability for any site that does not meet the criteria for small, simple operations or use of standard rates.

The calculator is also useful in the initial planning of an operation for predicting closure costs well in advance, for designing the staging of an operation to minimise the area disturbed and to maximise progressive rehabilitation. Consideration of issues such as the location of overburden and topsoil stockpiles and minimising double handling can significantly reduce the rehabilitation liability.

The bond calculator is updated annually to include current estimated costs for common site rehabilitation liabilities.

Use of alternative rates

If the authority holder chooses to use an alternative rate to the standard rates, sufficient documentation is to be provided to substantiate the rate. Such documentation needs to include appropriate third-party quotes.

Use of alternative methodology to determine rehabilitation liability assessments

If the authority holder chooses to use an alternative methodology, sufficient documentation is to be provided to substantiate how the liability estimate was determined. Such documentation needs to include quantities, unit rates, decommissioning and disposal rates. The self-assessment will also need to include management costs, allow for contingencies and ongoing monitoring costs where warranted.

Self-assessment of rehabilitation liability

ERR may request an authority holder to undertake a self-assessment of their rehabilitation obligations as an initial step in determining the amount of bond required for a new site, work plan variation or transfer.

We will use the self-assessment to inform a determination of the rehabilitation liability. After considering the self-assessment, we will give the authority holder the opportunity to correct any errors of fact in the rehabilitation liability assessment before a determination of the rehabilitation bond is made.

ERR Rehabilitation Liability Assessment

Prior to determining a rehabilitation bond, ERR will:

  • engage in meaningful consultation with the authority holder
  • provide an opportunity for the authority holder to:
    • revise their initial self-assessment
    • provide any additional evidence-based information that may be required
    • advise ERR of any errors of fact with ERR’s assessment
  • work with the authority holder to reduce the actual rehabilitation liability on site to the extent possible
  • consider alternative costings where sufficient evidence is provided by the authority holder
  • give due regard to all relevant information available
  • ensure that the bond determined tracks as closely as possible to the actual liability by providing access to the transitional measures available, such as voluntary letter-based commitments and annual bond reviews.

Annual reviews

Operators Authority Holders can voluntarily request that their rehabilitation liabilities and bond amounts be reviewed and adjusted annually. This provides the opportunity to increase or decrease bond amounts dependent on the extent of site disturbance at any one time (as opposed to the maximum point of disturbance over the project’s life), for example:

  • If an operator takes steps to progressively rehabilitate sections of a site as activities take place, the liability and therefore bond amount can be reduced to recognise the completed activities.
  • If a site is in the early stages of development and activities are of lesser impact, bond amounts can be calculated on that basis and be adjusted as production activities increase over time.

Letter-based commitments

Authority holders can write to the regulator regarding commitments to rehabilitation in respect to their operations and approved work plan. The regulator may consider these commitments before determining the amount of the rehabilitation bond. These could include:

  • reducing the maximum area open at any one time
  • increasing progressive rehabilitation commitments
  • working batters to match final rehabilitated batter angle
  • working to smaller stages.

Bond submission

A notice of further bond will be issued at the conclusion of the consultative process once the Minister has determined the rehabilitation liability.

Rehabilitation bonds must be lodged before site works begin and can be adjusted during the life of a resource project, taking account of relevant changes in work approvals and any completed rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation Assurance and Strategy

In mid-2018, Earth Resources Regulation self-initiated a review to assess and improve how we regulate mine and quarry rehabilitation.

In February 2020, the regulator released its Regulatory Practice Strategy for the Rehabilitation of Earth Resources Sites, which seeks to help authority holders plan and rehabilitate their sites over their full life cycle. The strategy was updated in November 2020. Both documents and our annual Rehabilitation Strategy progress reports are available to download below.

In August 2020, the Victorian Auditor’s General’s Office released its independent Rehabilitating Mines Audit. Learn more about the actions Earth Resources Regulation is implementing to improve site rehabilitation.

The Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy (LVRSS) was released on the 26 June 2020. The strategy supports rehabilitation planning and decision making for the Latrobe Valley’s three brown coal mines and is a response to the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry recommendations. The LVRRS is overseen by the Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority.

Related documents

Register of rehabilitation bonds

The interactive dashboard shows the current bonds held by the State. The data is updated daily as part of the regulator’s commitment to transparent reporting.

Detailed information on individual tenements is available online via the department’s GeoVic website.


The information contained in this dashboard is provided for general guidance and assistance only and is not intended as advice. You should make your own enquiries as to the appropriateness and suitability of the information provided. While every effort has been made to ensure the currency, accuracy or completeness of the content we endeavour to keep the content relevant and up to date and reserve the right to make changes as required. The Victorian Government, authors and presenters do not accept any liability to any person for the information (or the use of the information) which is provided or referred to in the dashboard.

The interactive dashboard is best viewed on desktop browser. Users on mobile and tablet devices may encounter accessibility and readability issues.

Page last updated: 19 Jul 2024