About Virentia

Virentia are specialists in building and managing consortia to acquire and rehabilitate end-of-life mine sites into safe green spaces or land for new industry. Our mine rehabilitation approach ensures that the community is not left with the burden of funding mine rehabilitation and that the rehabilitation work is completed within an agreed timeframe. With a socially and environmentally responsible model, Virentia is creating jobs and benefiting our stakeholders, the environment and communities.

We make it easy for miners to divest themselves of their end-of life mine sites with an innovative suite of insurance products that relieve miners of current and future liabilities, provides the appropriate guarantees to the government AND protects our team of partnering contractors and engineers.

Our collaborative process includes extensive engagement with the community, Traditional Owners and government to respect community values and the region’s economic potential. Together we will agree the outcomes of rehabilitation including final landforms, rehabilitation standards and end-use.

A Unique Opportunity
In Queensland—despite the more than 15,000 abandoned mines and approximately 95 in ‘Care and Maintenance’ (unlikely to be mined again)—not one tier-one mine has ever been fully rehabilitated and the tenure returned to the government. Given Australia’s extensive mining history—and the equally grim rehabilitation statistics across the other states of Australia—the country is facing a large and looming rehabilitation liability.

A Financial Assurance (FA) is an amount calculated by the government and held as a guarantee (from a credible banking institution) by the relevant state government on behalf of miners. FAs are intended to ensure that the taxpayer will not be left with the cost to rehabilitate mine sites: the size of an individual FA should therefore cover the cost to fully rehabilitate that mine. Due to growing community and government concern that Financial Assurance amounts are inadequate, state governments are currently reviewing their FA frameworks.

Additionally, in response to pressure from ‘green’ NGOs to avoid and reduce environmental impacts and rehabilitation liabilities associated with the resource industry, governments are enacting new legislation and other measures: (i) additional avenues of redress will now be available in the event of a corporate collapse or other cause for rehabilitation underfunding, and (ii) the clear definition of rehabilitation requirements and process for mining companies.

As a result of these changes to legislation and the financial burden that is likely to result from the FA framework review (expected to require a large increase to existing FAs), owners of end-of-life mines are seeking commercial solutions to reduce associated social, environmental and financial liabilities: an outcome obtainable through Virentia’s commercial model, backed by its unique suite of insurance products.

The Virentia Approach
Under the guidance of our advisory board, and in partnership with insurers, government and community, Virentia seeks to acquire end-of-life mine sites for complete rehabilitation, with the rehabilitation works funded by the mine owner and costs tendered to contractors as ‘fixed-price’ construction projects.

Our Origins

The Virentia approach grew from the management team’s work on the acquisition of a number of end-of-life Queensland coal mines for remnant mining and rehabilitation. The team structured and facilitated the contracts to acquire the Blair Athol coalmine in Clermont, Queensland from the Rio Tinto-led Blair Athol Coal Joint Venture for $1 and a vendor payment approximating the existing Financial Assurance (FA) amount for the mine. This acquisition was completed by Terracom in 2017. This model has also been successfully used by others to acquire other end-of-life mines such as Isaac Plains and Integra.

We saw the opportunity to acquire mine sites and use our innovative and comprehensive commercial model to turn mine rehabilitation into a profitable and socially and environmentally responsible endeavour.