Fawcett, M & Laurencont, T 2019, 'Setting objectives: the key to successful mine closure', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 1063-1070.
The desired outcome of remediation is to eliminate or minimise to an acceptable level the social and environmental impacts of a mining operation post-closure. Remediation objectives should be seen as the overall guiding principles that every activity must be checked against. If remediation objectives are not clearly defined and understood by all parties, none of the subsequent stages of the remediation process can be developed or implemented with accuracy or certainty of success. Ultimately the failure of remediation programs can often be traced back to the failure to undertake a rigorous program to develop and define clear and appropriate remediation objectives at the outset.
In this paper the process of developing remediation objectives is explored, including what should be considered as inputs into their development including:
Final land use.
Legislation, regulations and agreements.
Codes of Practice and Guidelines.
Corporate policies and standards.
Characterisation of the biophysical and social environment.
How to develop remediation objectives within the context of site constraints will also be discussed. For example, mine closure is often seen as unrestricted release of a site. However, circumstances and considerations such as the remediation option selected, budgetary constraints or the disturbance of valuable habitats, may require limiting or prohibiting access. These limitations can be temporary, as may be expedient in the case of contamination with short-lived nuclides, or long-term, as for tailings impoundments.
Finally, the process of developing a set of remediation criteria, once the remediation objectives have been decided; to target remediation activities, to assess performance as the work proceeds; and to verify that the remediation objectives have been achieved at its conclusion, will be discussed.
Keywords: objectives, closure, criteria, stakeholders, planning, remediation
Fawcett, M 2002, Provisioning for Mine Closure, ACMER Short Course on Achieving Sustainable Mine Closure Outcomes, Darwin, 27 September.