Authors: Bjelkevik, AG


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Bjelkevik, AG 2008, 'Planning for Closure — Example from Fäboliden Mine in Sweden', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett, I Weiersbye & P Dye (eds), Mine Closure 2008: Proceedings of the Third International Seminar on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 285-296,

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Fäboliden is a planned new Swedish goldmine, owned by Lappland Goldminers AB. A permit granting commencement of operations was issued in December 2007, but was subsequently appealed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and some stakeholders in January 2008. New Supreme Court negotiations took place in May 2008. Some of the main issues during negotiations, and the reasons that the Swedish Protection Agency appealed the granting of the permit, are related to closure and financial security for remediation works. Other issues during negotiations, and the reasons for appeal by some stakeholders, are related to the operation itself. These latter issues, however, are not dealt with in this paper. This paper describes design issues, and the design process for this new mine, with a focus on closure. This includes the objectives of the company (Lappland Goldminers AB), requirements of the authorities, and the philosophy regarding mine closure in Sweden. The focus on closure of mining operations, and specifically tailings facilities, has increased during the last decade. Experience and research have not progressed at the same rate, resulting in some issues remaining in a “Catch 22” situation. Using Fäboliden as an example, this paper summarizes the issues requiring further attention in the field of mine closure and remediation of tailings facilities in order to increase knowledge and experience regarding long-term (more than 1000 years) development of these facilities. One of these issues is the long-term stability of tailings dams. Developments in fields relating to this issue are important for existing and new mines, not just in Sweden, but for the mining industry as a whole, where remediation incorporates water cover or residual high hydraulic gradients within the tailings dams.

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