Tool 9 – Mitigation and Rehabilitation

Tool 9 helps companies define and distinguish between biodiversity mitigation and rehabilitation. It considers mitigation measures, rehabilitation planning and implementation, and biodiversity offsets.

Step Guide


Go through each section of the checklist up to, and including, Biodiversity offsets (see section 7.4)


Refer to pages 91-100 for a greater understanding of the different issues


Read the case studies to understand practical application of the steps

Differences between mitigation and rehabilitation measures

Mitigation (p91)involves selecting and implementing measures to protect biodiversity, the users of biodiversity and other affected stakeholders from potentially adverse impacts as a result of mining.

Rehabilitation (p93) – refers to measures that are undertaken to return mined land to agreed post-closure uses. It recognises impacts on biodiversity have occurred.

Effective site preparation includes:

  • Soil and waste characterisation
  • Selective handling of materials
  • Construction of stable landforms
  • Topsoil handling
  • Ripping, fertilising and soil amendment


Offsets (p100):

An offset is where permanent destruction of an ecosystem is unavoidable. It may involve funding the protection of a local nature conservation area or the purchase of an equivalent area of land for protection. It is worth acknowledging offsets can attract controversy.

Top Tips:

  • Remember that good rehabilitation monitoring programs have four components:

    1. Baseline and ongoing monitoring of unmined reference areas to define the values that need to be protected or replaced
    2. Documentation of rehabilitation procedures carried out
    3. Initial establishment monitoring – this serves as a quality control step
    4. Long-term monitoring, which commences two to three years later

    Figure 7.1 (p92) demonstrates the hierarchy of biodiversity mitigation measures


Community, Economics, Environment, Ethical Business, Management, Rehabilitation

Involving Traditional Owners in Seed Collecting and Rehabilitation Programs – GEMCO Manganese Mine, Australia

Partnering with Indigenous Peoples to achieve successful rehabilitation


Community, Economics, Environment, Ethical Business, Management, Rehabilitation

Topsoil Handling to Establish Botanical Diversity – Alcoa World Alumina Australia

How conservation of the soil seed bank enhances the botanical diversity of post-mining vegetation


Community, Economics, Environment, Ethical Business, Management, Rehabilitation

Long-Term Monitoring of Ecosystem Development – Richards Bay Minerals, South Africa

Rehabilitation programmes provide valuable feedback for mine-closure implementation