Remediation Reclamation Rehabilitation Restoration or Reconstruction

Several terms have been used interchangeably to indicate postmining measures to counteract the impacts of mining on landscape and ecosystems. Strictly speaking, the terms 'restoration' and 'reconstruction' refer to situations where the landscape and ecosystems are returned to their original shapes and composition, whereas 'remediation', 'reclamation', and 'rehabilitation' refer to measures that alleviate the problems, but may create landscapes and ecosystems that are different from the original situation. Upon decommissioning, some modern active mines may be required to return the land to its original state so that it can potentially support all previous functions once again. By far the majority of mines throughout history, however, were not subject to stringent regulations. Their only requirement may have been to restrict further pollution after closure or no requirements may have existed at all. All over the world, abandoned mine sites exist that were simply left as they were after closure, some very recent, without any attempts of remediation.

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