This overview article presents major forms of reclamation and development of external and internal spoil tips, which are formed during brown coal mining and from bottom ash dumped near open-pit mines and power stations. In the late 1970s, a new form of agricultural and forest recultivation was developed – the PAN model. According to the concept, crops and forest-forming plant species should be introduced to post-mining grounds immediately after the end of technical recultivation. Vegetation is a particularly reliable indicator of habitat properties and small changes taking place in nature undergoing recovery. Other bioindicators of the quality and health of newly formed soil include the biomass of microorganisms, their count, composition and enzymatic activity. In many countries the assessment of the influence of anthropogenic stress factors on the count of soil microorganisms has become one of key elements of obligatory inspection under environmental monitoring. In consequence of revitalisation of anthropogenically changed areas, biological life is restored within the period of at least 20–30 years. It is manifested by the development of microbial population and soil fauna.