Modern mine rehabilitation aims to minimize and mitigate the environmental effects of modern mining, which may in the case of open pit mining involve movement of significant volumes of rock. Rehabilitation management is an ongoing process, often resulting in open pit mines being backfilled. Mining area must undergo rehabilitation.
- Waste dumps are contoured to flatten them out, to further stabilize them against erosion.
- If the ore contains sulphides it is usually covered with a layer of clay to prevent access of rain and oxygen from the air, which can oxidise the sulphides to produce sulphuric acid.
- Landfills are covered with topsoil, and indigenous vegetation common to the applicable area is planted to help consolidate the material.
- Dumps are usually fenced off to prevent livestock denuding them of vegetation.
- The open pit is then surrounded with a fence, to prevent access, and it generally eventually fills up with groundwater.
- Tailings dams are left to evaporate, then covered with waste rock, clay if need be, and soil, which is planted to stabilize it.