Kauppila, T, Bellenfant, G, Solismaa, L & Mittelstadt, P 2019, 'Digitalisation of continuous mine closure planning and management: an EIT RawMaterials initiative', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 1023-1030.
The current paradigm in mine closure is continuous, or progressive, mine closure, which is the industry standard for best closure outcomes. However, this is a complex management challenge because mine closure is a long, evolving process that can be hampered by changes in ownership and management. It involves external stakeholders, and the jointly planned post-closure land uses influence all closure plans and actions. Closure is also an official process with regulatory requirements and financial sureties.
Continuous closure also means continuous reduction of unknowns, risks and (financial) liabilities. Therefore, the constant accumulation of data and plans and the whole process need to be well documented. Such a complex undertaking needs tools that help in managing the process. We must take this beyond the conventional closure management plans (CMPs) written on paper to a digital system with enhanced capabilities for continuous closure management. At the same time, the authorities are going digital. Some European Union Member States and other countries around the world have set up, and are pursuing, egovernment initiatives that are designed to help interaction with the authorities when applying for permits and licences, and submitting environmental impact assessments, etc. (EIAs) (e.g. the digital permit process management system in Germany called BergPass). This also concerns mining projects and the closure of mines. This development also means that CMPs need to comply with these systems, which also emphasises the need for digital closure management systems such as Closurematic: Management Tool for Continuous Mine Closure.
The Closurematic project (2018–2021), funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology on RawMaterials (EIT RM), is creating a new digital system for managing the mine closure process. Closurematic is a versatile digital tool to help mining companies and consultants plan, carry out, manage, monitor, communicate, and document mine closure at every step of a mining project. The tool adds value to a mining company’s assets by creating continuity in the long-term management of closure-related data. Its main functions will include an easily adaptable master plan (using tailored templates), extended interactive guidance to help the user, links to the best international practices, a geographic information system (GIS) interface, a file repository to store documents relating to the closure, and interactive tables and charts to monitor the closure actions and associated costs.
Keywords: mine closure, software, digitalisation, continuous closure, progressive closure
Blackman, KGA, Burne, N, Mitchell, IC, Lacy, HWB & Mackenzie, S 2009, ‘Progressive closure planning at the Magellan Mine—providing some certainty in uncertain times: a case study’, in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 93–100.
Byrne, G 2018, ‘Benchmarking closure provisions’, in C Drebenstedt, F von Bismarck, AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Mine Closure, Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg, pp. 91–100.
Caldwell, J 2013, Tailings Management Costs, viewed 9 April 2015,
Equator Principles Association 2013, The Equator Principles – A Financial Industry Benchmark for Determining, Assessing and Managing Environmental and Social Risk in Projects, viewed 22 July 2019,
European Parliament and Council of the European Union 2006, Directive 2006/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the management of waste from extractive industries and amending, Directive 2004/35/EC
Global Reporting Initiative 2019, GRI Standards, viewed 22 July 2019,
International Council on Mining and Metals 2019, Integrated Mine Closure: Good Practice Guide, 2nd edn, viewed 22 July 2019,
International Finance Corporation 2012, Environmental and Social Performance Standards, International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group, viewed 22 July 2019,
Joyce, S & Thomson, I 2000, ‘Earning a social licence to operate: Social acceptability and resource development in Latin America’. The Canadian Mining and Metallurgical Bulletin, vol. 93, no. 1037, pp. 49–52.
Kabir, SMZ, Rabbi, F, Chowdhury MB & Akbar, D 2015, ‘A review of mine closure planning and practice in Canada and Australia’, World Review of Business Research, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 140–159.
Mackay, EB, Wilkinson, ME, Macleod, CJA, Beven, K, Percy, BJ, Macklin, MG, Quinn, PF, Stutter, M & Haygarth, PM 2015, ‘Digital catchment observatories: a platform for engagement and knowledge exchange between catchment scientists, policy makers, and local communities’, Water Resources Research, vol. 51, iss. 6, pp. 4815–4822.
Mackenzie, S, Mitchell, I & McGuire, C 2008, ‘Progressive rehabilitation and closure planning using GIS-based software at the Mungari Project, Western Australia’, Proceedings of the Goldfields Environmental Management Group Workshop 2008, Goldfields Environmental Management Group, Boulder, pp. 71–79.
Moffat, K & Zhang, A 2014, ‘The paths to social licence to operate: an integrative model explaining community acceptance of mining’ Resources Policy, vol. 39, pp 61–70,
Queensland Government 2017, Mined Land Rehabilitation Policy, viewed 2 April 2019,
Stewart, AF & Zegras, PC 2016, ‘CoAXs: A collaborative accessibility-based stakeholder engagement system for communicating transport impacts’, Research in Transportation Economics, vol. 59, pp. 423–433.
Symonds Group 2001, A Study on the Costs of Improving the Management of Mining Waste, report to Directorate-General for the Environment – European Union, Symonds Group Ltd, UK.
World Risk Report 2018, Mining Journal World Risk Report 2018, viewed 22 July 2019,