Today we completed a successful three-day EduMine webcast on mine closure. Folk from Germany, Finland, Mauritania, South Africa, Australia, Guatemala, the USA, and Canada “attended.” We are flattered and thankful to them and applaud their interest in a critical topic and facet of mining. If you missed the webcast, contact EduMine and ask them to repeat it.
Dirk Van Zyl of UBC professorship gave us an hour of his time to talk about last week’s conference on mine closure in Brazil. As expected, he added value. The best value, to me at least, was his reminding us of the following mine closure documents from Anglo American:
•Mine Closure Toolbox Examples: http://www.angloamerican.com/~/media/Files/A/Anglo-American-Plc/pdf/development/toolbox/toolbox-brochure-examples-lr.PDF
•Mine Closure Toolbox Further Guidance, etc.: http://www.angloamerican.com/~/media/Files/A/Anglo-American-Plc/pdf/development/toolbox/toolbox-brochure-add-guidance-pr2.pdf
I have downloaded them and flipped through them. I urge you to do likewise. Superb information and process guidance.
The questions are these: Are these methods applied worldwide? Can they be applied worldwide? Should other mining companies do likewise? Do they conflict with all that stuff coming out of Chile and Brazil?
I suspect that things are moving so fast in the theory of mine closure, that these documents are already out-of-date. Still we look forward to seeing their application to closure planning in Chile by Anglo for their major mines in that country. There the rubber will hit the road. How do you reconcile all these noble intentions with new Chilean regulations demanding a risk assessment of mine closure options? How do you reconcile these great ideas with the reality that a Chilean mine closure plan must be premised on the already-permitted operations plan? Not easily! Or the fact that the actual mines will not be closed for decades?
A major challenge. So read, consider, see what the consultants do, watch what the mining companies do, and learn therefrom. Good luck.