Why mine closure matters and why it gets ignored: Trends in mine closure from the Progressive Mine Forum – by alisha Hiyate (Canadian Mining Journal – January 2018)

For the Mine Closure segment of the above video, go to the Five Hour mark.


If you want to clear a room of miners, there are few better ways than to raise the topic of mine closure. At least, that’s sort of what happened at the Progressive Mine Forum in Toronto in late October. The inaugural event, organized by The Northern Miner, was dedicated to discussing innovation in mining. After a day of roundtables discussing CSR, Big Data in exploration, and innovation in mine development, operations and finance, about half the audience got up and left when it came time for the final topic of the day – mine closure.

While mine closure may not be a sexy topic, it is an urgent one.

“It’s the single most important thing that our industry does,” said Douglas Morrison, president and CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation. “Nobody in the public could care less what our productivity levels are, what the return on investment is. They absolutely care what we do with our waste streams – waste water and solid waste. This is where our industry interacts with the public.”

In other words, if this is what the public is most interested in, mining companies should also be interested – if only out of self-preservation. How the industry deals with mine waste, mining among regular Canadians.

But this isn’t the only reason mine closure is so important. It’s a costly part of mining that far too many miners neglect.

“The reality is when you look at mine closure in the overall life cycle of a mine, it’s actually the longest phase of a mine,” said Steven Woolfenden, director of environment for Iamgold. “I’m managing some legacy sites that are 30, 40, 50 years old and there is no end to that management – it will be in perpetuity.”

The cost, Woolfenden added, is often underestimated.

“Most people really don’t pay much attention to it because when you do the costing on mine closure, it’s pushed so far out and discounted so much that it doesn’t really impact it. But when you get there, and you actually have a closed mine, it costs you a lot of money.”

For the rest of this article: http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/features/mine-closure-matters-gets-ignored/