Cost of Closure – A Social and Business Perspective


Ms Carolyn Burns

The mining industry has a poor reputation for mine closure. While environmental issues have traditionally been the focus of this poor reputation, social impacts are coming to the fore and will be a primary focus of mine closure in the future. It is well understood that the lack of community support can lead to permitting and operational delays in the development stages. But unresolved social issues at the end of a mine’s life can increase closure related costs and led to a negative reputation for the company and industry. This presentation introduces the concept of social closure, a process that ensures that a mine site can be closed in an efficient and effective manner, while managing the expectations and impacts of closure on local communities, governments, and the public. This presentation will also reference innovation methods for social closure that will mitigate costs and contribute positive outcomes for the local communities such as employment opportunities, alternate land use and infrastructure. Some of the questions we will consider include: What is social closure? What costs and impacts stem from poor planning and management of closure? How can a collaborative and well executed social closure plan actually add value to a mine or a mining company? Can we turn closure from a liability to a benefit?