EDITORIAL: In 2018, the pressure’s on: Don’t overlook the demands of responsible mine closure – by Alisha Hiyate (Canadian Mining Journal – January 2018)


Why mine closure matters and why it gets ignored: http://bit.ly/2n8fBQz

In the fall, I moderated a roundtable discussion on mine closure at The Northern Miner’s inaugural Progressive Mine Forum. Unfortunately, about half of the audience got up and left the room just before we started.

It was the last discussion of the day, so one might be tempted to chalk it up to fatigue or an effort to get an early jump on post-conference drinks. But, in reality, it’s not an unusual reaction to the topic of mine closure. It just seems to make miners’ eyes glaze over.

The paradox, however, is that mine closure is actually the subject that the public is most interested in – and the source of a lot of opposition to mining (see Page 29).

Water and tailings management – especially in the wake of the 2014 Mount Polley tailings dam failure – is at the heart of the mining industry’s ability to earn a social licence to operate. That makes it an existential issue for miners.

A timely example is Western Copper & Gold’s Casino project in the Yukon (Page 25). The large porphyry copper-gold deposit had already entered the permitting process when the Mount Polley failure occurred. But the 120,000-tonne-per-day proposed project, which would require sizable tailings facilities, is seeing increased scrutiny as a result of Mount Polley.

For the rest of this editorial: http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/features/in-2018-the-pressures-on/