A scarcity of information about disused mine sites is leaving the public in the dark on the clean-up costs from New South Wales’ mining boom, a new report has found. The report, released by the Australia Institute in February 2017, attempted to analyse what was happening to operating, suspended, closed, rehabilitated, or abandoned mine sites across the state. 

But it found that there were few reliable statistics available, despite the clean-up from NSW’s mining boom potentially costing taxpayers billions. The NSW auditor general examined the risk posed by disused mine sites in 2011. The auditor-general’s final report warned that the government’s derelict mine program “may represent the largest category of contamination liability for the New South Wales government”. Despite this, the Australia Institute said the NSW’s division of resources and energy was only able to show one example of a mine site being successfully rehabilitated, and one site that was potentially in the final stages of closure

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