We specialise in the quantification of mine closure liabilities; the development and compilation of closure plans; specifications and the more practical aspects of setting up and managing closure agreements and sustainable rehabilitation programmes.
Even before a new mine is opened, it is crucial to begin planning appropriately for its eventual closure. As with all finite resources, each mine has a lifespan based on the economics and practicalities of its operation. These may change over time as commodity prices fluctuate and new technology is brought on stream, but closure always remains a certainty.
Residue storage facilities often comprise a significant portion of the rehabilitation and closure liabilities associated with mining and processing operations.
With our detailed understanding of such facilities Epoch Resources are uniquely positioned to assist in the planning and execution of the rehabilitation and closure of mines as well as the quantification of the associated financial liabilities.
Our approach to planning for closure as well as financial liability determination is based on assessing and quantifying the liabilities from first principles, rather than through the application of the formulaic approaches contained in guidelines and policy documents.
Our inputs to the design and management of residue facilities also incorporate consideration of rehabilitation and closure and the incorporation of features to enable concurrent rehabilitation wherever possible, thereby reducing closure liabilities.
Reducing mitigated risk to zero may not always be attainable, but this does not mean that sincere and determined effort should not be made towards such a goal, employing best international best practice and looking beyond the short-term cost implications to the medium- and long-term benefits.
The Challenge Mine Closure
Mine closure is a vital stage in the life-cycle of any mining operation – but it is unlikely to be the final event. Mine closure should be viewed as an integral part of the mining industry – and its universality can be determined by the fact that similar issues tend to recur.
Chief among these is the failure to adequately plan and prepare, and to be ready for such eventualities as premature closures.
Mine closures require a strategic outlook and the possession of sufficient review and reporting capacity. Many previous mine closures have been unsuccessful due to short-termism and a persistent but misplaced belief in the “walk-away myth”.