Full of holes: why Australia’s mining boom will leave permanent scars

Australia is teetering on the edge of a massive hole – one left by huge mines that may soon close. As they do, the country is playing a desperate game of catch-up to make sure the mining companies pay for the cleanup. But a legacy of limited environmental requirements means that even if that succeeds, the end of the coal boom will leave Australia pockmarked with unfilled holes.

This game has been highlighted in recent years by a trend of major miners unloading projects to industry minnows amid a coal slump. As they do so, taxpayers risk being lumped with cleanup costs in the wake of their collapse.

In response, state authorities are making belated moves to tackle a serious historical shortfall in bonds held to guarantee cleanup or “rehabilitation” when miners go bust.

Read article at: The Guardian

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