Linlin Cheng;;;Jeffrey G. Skousen;
;Department of Surveying and Land Use, School of Geoscience and Surveying Engineering China University of Mining and Technology (Beijing) Beijing China ;Division of Plant and Soil Sciences West Virginia University Morgantown USA
Mine reclamation bonds are used in countries with mineral mining to ensure that reclamation of the mined area is completed. The United States, Canada, and Australia are countries with established mine reclamation bond programs, with the United States coal system having been in place since 1977. China implemented a bonding system in 1998 and by 2013 all 31 provinces had established a system. An effective bonding system must be conditioned on fair and enforceable nationwide reclamation standard, stimulate companies to conduct reclamation by forming economic incentives rather than penalties that become a liability, and allow for full public participation. Based on these principles, this paper compares seven important factors for a successful reclamation bonding system: laws and regulations, administrative authority, bond types, bond size, calculation method, bond release, and public participation. The results show variation in policies and procedures for bonding among countries. Using principles and policies primarily from the United States, China should establish a national reclamation bonding system with legislation that forms a national authority to oversee and enforce reclamation standards and bond requirements. In addition, China can expand bond financial types and strategies, set the size of reclamation bonds at the level of a third-party reclamation cost, and set unified standards for calculation. Phased bond release should be established with specific reclamation criteria for each phase of release. Finally, bonding regulations should clearly identify opportunities for full public participation in the process.