Finucane, S & Pershke, D 2009, 'Building the business case for closure', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 157-165.
A business case provides the framework for the planning and management of an entire project, and assists in
systematically assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a project proposal. It includes justification for
undertaking the project based on its anticipated risks, expected benefits and estimated costs.
Business cases are used to assist in decision making processes, obtain management commitment and gain
investment approval by providing sound rationale for the investment. A business case should address all
phases of a project including closure; to do otherwise risks making a poor project investment.
The need for mine closure to be an integrated part of the complete project life cycle, including business
planning, is well documented. However, the information required by mining companies and project
managers, and the tools that can be used to develop the business case for closure, are less well understood.
Consequently, many industry personnel experience difficulty in developing an effective business case for
To provide guidance on how to successfully integrate mine closure planning and valuation into the business
planning process, this paper draws on experience in the mining industry in Australia and Asia from the
perspective of mining companies. This paper does not attempt to list all of the requirements for building a
successful business case for closure, but discusses six key aspects in this regard: motivation, project design,
risk assessment, legal compliance, closure valuation and teaming.
BHP Billiton (2004) Closure Standard, Issue 1.0, July 2004, 23 p., viewed 9 May 2009,
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (DITR) (2006) Mine Closure and Completion, Commonwealth
Government of Australia, 63 p.
Dowd, P. and Slight, M. (2006) The business case for effective mine closure, In Proceedings of the First International
Seminar on Mine Closure, Mine Closure 2006, A.B. Fourie, M. Tibbett (eds), 13–15 September 2006, Perth,
Australia, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 3–11.
International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) (2008) Planning for Integrated Mine Closure: Toolkit, London,
Laurence, D.C. (2002) Optimising mine closure outcomes for the community – lessons learned, Minerals and Energy
Raw Materials Group 17, pp. 27–34.
Rio Tinto (2004) Rio Tinto Closure Standard, Version 2.0, June 2004, 9 p., viewed 9 May 2009,
Sutton, M., Pretorius, H., Nel, H., Julyan, F. and Rex, H. (2008) Closure planning and estimating with the Southern
Africa division of a global gold miner, In Proceedings of the Third International Seminar on Mine Closure, Mine
Closure 2008, A.B. Fourie, M. Tibbett, I.M. Weiersbye, P. Dye (eds), 14–17 October 2008, Johannesburg, South
Africa, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 145–159.
World Bank and International Finance Corporation (2002) It’s Not Over When It’s Over: Mine Closure Around the
World, International Finance Corporation, Washington DC, USA, 19 p.