Authors: Mercer, KG; Biggs, B

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Mercer, KG & Biggs, B 2013, 'Managing organisational risk for mine closure', in M Tibbett, AB Fourie & C Digby (eds), Mine Closure 2013: Proceedings of the Eighth International Seminar on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Cornwall, pp. 523-535,

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A critical issue in managing mining organisational risk is adapting to constant change that includes transfer of ownership of the mine, abandonment and mine closure as well as temporary cessation of mining activities referred to as periods of care and maintenance. During periods such as these, landforms that have been created during mining operations are likely to continue to pose significant safety and environmental risks to all stakeholders, and it can be argued that these risks may reach their greatest extent during these times. Despite ongoing rehabilitation efforts, the primary risks are likely to take the form of contaminated land, stability and erosion of the landforms such as tailings dams and waste dumps as well as management of ongoing surface and ground water contamination. After active mining has ended, these risks are likely to persist for a considerable period of time and therefore need to be continuously managed by current or future stakeholders. For final closure, the designs of the well-organised layers of protection and defences that were established during active mining operations need to be changed and adapted to meet the passive needs of managing the mine site landforms until stability and contamination risks have abated to acceptable levels and ecosystems have reached a self-sustaining state. The key issues are to adapt layers of protection and defences to accommodate:

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