Authors: Trotta, LM; Ridgway, TH

Open access courtesy of:

DOI https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2215_15

Cite As:
Trotta, LM & Ridgway, TH 2022, 'Embedding climate change risk into mine closure planning: a case study of tailings closure design at Ballarat Gold Mine', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & G Boggs (eds), Mine Closure 2022: 15th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 259-266, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2215_15

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero


Abstract:
It is commonly accepted that climate change is a global challenge requiring a strong response led by both government and business. Rising levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases are increasing the severity and occurrence of extreme weather events such as storms and heatwaves and are accelerating rising sea levels. This changing climate will affect the infrastructure and resources sector both directly and indirectly. By building operational climate resilience today, companies can limit future liabilities, support business continuity, and improve the sustainability of communities and ecosystems. With an increased focus on closure planning and design within the resources industry, especially in tailings management, it is important to establish a clear set of expectations early in the planning phase. Closure planning provides mines and smelters an opportunity to evaluate climate projections under different emission scenarios, identify and assess potential future climate hazards and associated risks, and modify final landform design to accommodate the identified physical climate risks. In several countries, nominally Australia, Canada and Chile, long-term assessment of tailings closure landforms is considered essential within the industry. For such assessments to be effective, long-term climate change data projections are required. By undertaking such assessments early, the closure design team can accommodate both current and forward hydrological projections as well as long-term behavioural changes of the capping material, with respect to potential changes in climate conditions such as increased temperatures and extended solar exposure. This process has recently been successfully implemented at Ballarat Gold Mine as part of the closure and rehabilitation planning process. The results of these assessments, while being used in the design and forward planning of the closure of the tailings storage facility (TSF), have also been incorporated into the site-wide risk assessment and risk management plan. This paper outlines the climate change risk assessment process undertaken for the Ballarat Gold Mine TSF, specifically the considerations, procedures and outcomes of the assessment. It furthermore describes how these prompted a re-evaluation of the final TSF design to enable it to withstand projected extreme climate events.

Keywords: climate change risk, climate resilience, tailings closure design, final landform design, Ballarat Gold Mine

References:
BOM 2005, Historical Weather Data 1986-2005, Melbourne.
CSIRO & Bureau of Meteorology 2015a, Climate Change in Australia Projections Cluster Report – Southern Slopes,
CSIRO & Bureau of Meteorology 2015b, Climate Change in Australia Summary Data Explorer,
CSIRO & Bureau of Meteorology 2015c, Climate Change in Australia Information for Australia’s Natural Resource Management Regions: Technical Report,
168/CCIA_2015_NRM_TechnicalReport_WEB.pdf
CSIRO & Bureau of Meteorology 2020, State of the Climate 2020,
Global Tailings Review 2020, Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management,
International Council on Mining & Metals 2019, Adapting to a Changing Climate: Building Resilience in The Mining And Metals Industry,
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2014, Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report, Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, RK Pachauri & LA Meyer (eds), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva.
International Organization for Standardization 2018, Risk management – Principles and guidelines, AS/NZS 31000:2018,
Monash University 2020, Unearthing a Gold Standard for Rehabilitating 80,000 Mines in Australia, ,000-mines-in-australia
NASA 2022, NASA Earth Observatory,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 2022, Data for December 2021,
Standards Australia 2013, Climate Change Adaptation for Settlements and Infrastructure – A Risk-Based Approach, AS 5334-2013. Standards Australia, Sydney.
State Government of Victoria 2017, Climate Change Act, , Australia
State Government of Victoria & CSIRO 2019, Victorian Climate Projections 2019,
/en/projects/victorian-climate-projections-2019/
State of NSW and Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water 2010, Impacts of Climate Change on Natural Hazards Profile,
2f892896b34b/AS%3A639111081779201%401529387364506/download/10597CCNatHazardStateSummary.pdf




© Copyright 2022, Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), The University of Western Australia. All rights reserved.
Please direct any queries or error reports to repository-acg@uwa.edu.au