A Legacy for the Sustainable Development at Mine Closure: Workforce and Local Economic Development


Dr Marc Dávila Harris, Dr Silvana Costa

Cerro San Pedro, New Gold´s mine located San Luis Potosí, Mexico, started the implementation of a Responsible Closure Plan in mid-2016. New Gold is committed to implement an exemplary closure, following industry best practices as well as developing leading practices of responsible mine closure. The regulatory framework in Mexico, as in most jurisdictions, establish robust obligations and expectations for biophysical aspects of mine closure. “Social Closure” is an evolving field, which is generally not addressed by the regulatory framework; except for a few labor obligations. Best practices in social aspects of closure in the mining sector, particularly in Latin America, are few and not well documented. In this context, the company's approach has been to base decisions on a regularly revised risk assessment and the principles of transparency, community engagement, and sustainable development. Cerro San Pedro’s Closure Plan has taken an integrated approach to closure, covering biophysical, labor and social aspects that go well beyond the mine’s regulatory obligations. The Cerro San Pedro Responsible Closure Plan includes three key objectives: to continue to promote local socio-economic development and protect cultural heritage; to support the workforce through job reinsertion and skills training; and finally, to reclaim and protect the environment. The plan was developed based on extensive community consultation and is currently being implemented. This paper provides an overview of the Cerro San Pedro Responsible Closure Plan, focusing on the key social aspects of closure: workforce training and job reinsertion and local economic development. Key actions and their outcomes and lessons learned are discussed.