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Mining Closure Planning

What is Mine Closure & Quantification?

Mine closure is the period of time when the ore-extracting activities of a mine have ceased, and final decommissioning and mine reclamation are being completed. It is generally associated with reduced employment levels, which can have a significant negative impact on local economies. It is also the period when the majority of mine reclamation is completed, making the land safe and useful for other or original purposes again.

There is growing demand throughout the world to confront the issue of mine closure and to create successful and sustainable mine closure systems, as, according to IIED (2002), the pollution legacy makes the sustainability of mining activities difficult to achieve. Ideally, appropriate planning for closure of mining operations should be performed during the feasibility, design and permitting phases of a mine, and be improved during the operational life of the mine (Mudder & Harvey, 1999). This approach has become the standard and is a required practice today. According to Robertson & Shaw (2005), there has been a global trend since the 80’s towards 'Designing for Closure', with environmental protection and closure measures being designed into existing mine operations, and being mandatory for opening new mines. 

The lack of a complete or revised mine closure plan can result in severe environmental and economic consequences. Inadequate closure activities, water management, and waste rock disposal plans have prompted unexpected and, in some instances, unwarranted secondary Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) (Mudder & Harvey, 1999). Therefore through prior and progressive planning and implementation of measures, the costs and impacts on the environment can be minimized.

The multiple skilled team of CHEMC Environmental has the education, training and international experience to not only assist you in all spheres of this difficult field but to also ensure that cost effective and sound planning achieve almost unprecedented positive results at the end of life of mine.

CHEMC Environmentalprovides the following services relating to Mine Closure:

  • Closure Costing and Quantification;
  • Financial Provision Determination;
  • Risk Assessments;
  • Closure Reports and Applications;
  • Closure Planning and Designs; and
  • Post Closure Maintenance Plans

CHEMC Environmental, being the preferred supplier for a number of International Mining Companies, have been involved in some of the most integrate and comprehensive mine closure planning, costing and quantification exercises that occured to date. Some of the projects CHEMC Environmental have been involved with include the following:

  • Alpha Anthracite Mine, Glenore Coal;
  • Eastern Platinum, Karee, Western Platinum and Middelkraal Mines, Lonmin;
  • Manganore Iron Mine, BHP Billiton;
  • Nooigedacht Lead Ore Mine, BHP Billiton; and
  • Vlakfontein Nickel Mine, Lonmin