Ricaurte, J, Grant, CD, Freitas, A & Botha, PR 2019, 'Clarifying closure scenarios through integrated planning at the Cerrejón mine in Colombia', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 447-456.
Cerrejón is an export thermal coal mine in Colombia producing 30 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and employing more than 6,000 direct employees. Operated since 1985, Cerrejón mine is a joint venture operation between Anglo American (AA), BHP and Glencore. The first Cerrejón mine closure plan (MCP) was produced in 2009, with subsequent updates in 2012 and 2016. Since 2009, the MCPs have followed the guidance of the AA Mine Closure Toolbox (MCT). In 2018, the shareholders of Cerrejón requested that the closure plan be updated for two scenarios: reversion of the lease to the State in 2033 and planned closure of the operation. Cerrejón engaged AA Group Technical and Sustainability to assist with the update of the closure plan, incorporating the Integrated Closure Planning System (ICPS) developed by AA in 2015. The ICPS process complements and enhances the MCT process, with the focus of integrating closure planning into life-of-mine (LoM) planning and, in doing so, moving from just planning to operational execution. The first step in the ICPS process involved a baseline maturity assessment during a multifunctional site-based workshop. A plan was developed to improve subprocesses of the ICPS where the current maturity condition was below the competence level. Implementation of the plan commenced in 2018. Key components of the plan include an integrated planning opportunities workshop using Kepner-Tregoe analysis to prioritise identified projects, updating the baseline closure risk assessment, redoing the gap analysis in relation to the requirements of the MCT, benchmarking options to mitigate closure risks, developing closure and success criteria, and updating the existing closure plan and associated liability with an action plan to address gaps. This paper provides detail on how utilising the ICPS process assisted in clearly defining the reversion and closure cases, and the major risks, opportunities and gaps at Cerrejón mine—adding value not only by improving the confidence in the updated closure plan and costing but also by defining a clear way forward in integrating closure planning into the remaining LoM planning.
Keywords: Cerrejón mine, integrated closure planning, cases analysis, opportunities assessment
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