More than 60,000 mines have been abandoned across Australia, according to a report that raises concerns about how land rehabilitation is managed as the mining boom ends. 

The Australia Institute research, obtained exclusively by Lateline, said there were few reliable statistics on the state of Australia's mines and there was evidence that only a handful had ever been fully rehabilitated. State government agencies were only able to name one example of a mine that had been fully rehabilitated and relinquished in the past 10 years — the New Wallsend coal mine in New South Wales. Some of the abandoned mines date back to gold-rush days and the 60,000 figure includes thousands of mine "features", such as tailings dams and old mine shafts. The Australia Institute said it was difficult to obtain basic statistics on the number of operating mines across the country, putting the figure between 460 and 2,944.

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