Completion criteria are regulatory conditions set during mine planning for the post-mined landscape. They reflect the required standards or levels of performance expected from the vegetation of restored areas, which are indicators of the point at which successful closure of a site following restoration has been achieved. Whilst significant progress has been achieved in the standards expected of mine site restoration in Western Australia, and we continue to improve restoration practices, there is a clear need to develop our understanding of what constitutes ‘restoration success’ and develop tools that enable its accurate measurement.
The measurement of restoration trajectory, as early as possible during restoration programs, is critical in the assessment of mine closure. A diverse suite of methods are currently being explored by the CMSR in an attempt to evaluate the level of recovery and project the progression of recovery into the future. Evaluation methods include the use of bio-indicator species as surrogates of biodiversity and ecological function, assessments of plant performance, early establishment and development, fauna behaviour as a measure of ecosystem recovery and functionality, and remote sensing and spatial modelling of abandoned and rehabilitated sites.