The extraction, processing and movement of commodities to market are fundamental for the advancement of both rapidly urbanizing populations in emerging economies, and mature markets in terms of economic development, better infrastructure and ultimately, improved lifestyles. Simultaneously, mineral resources and mine operations are finite, and the integrated planning and management of mine rehabilitation and closure is globally recognised as an essential aspect during all phases of the mining lifecycle.
For mine owners and operators, mine closure has not just physical and socio-economic implications but also reputational importance in terms of future license to operate. Leaving a positive and sustainable legacy in host communities after operations close is a key measure of mining company success.
In an ideal scenario, mine closure and decommissioning programmes apply procedures that ensure local commitments are fulfilled and governmental and environmental regulations are followed. While best practices and mine closure toolkits have gone a long way to support mine operators and owners, our data and experience tell us these projects typically overrun on cost and schedule, resulting in the focus turning to minimum compliance and leading to poor outcomes commercially and socio-politically.
This gap represents a fundamental loss to both our clients and the communities to which these mining operations have long been an essential fabric of economic and social life.
So what are the steps the industry needs to take to improve mine closure success and ensure the optimal outcome for all stakeholders?
Meeting the challenges
Our experience and significant cost and schedule expertise support our clients to bring rigour to the decommissioning phase of mining projects. Our services provide our clients with the capability to:
- Give due consideration and adequate provisioning for mine closure costs as early as possible during new mine development. At the concept level, the subject of what is going to happen to the mine should be raised and addressed at the appropriate level of detail
- Maintain the focus and continuity on closure throughout the mine lifecycle, particularly as management roles and accountabilities change, and as community expectations or regulatory controls change
- Plan and agree adequate contingencies for premature closure
- Allow adequate in-perpetuity monitoring and maintenance funding
- Understand global best practice in mine closure, support both the needs of the mine owner and community.
Find out more about our global experience in mine closures (interactive PDF).
- Programme strategy and set up: Setting up for success – building the right capabilities, best delivery model and baseline driven execution plan to drive clear closure programme outcomes.
- Programme management: In a series of projects, consistency of approach, execution and reporting will give real confidence your programme is under control.
- Project management: In a single closure project, delivering project success through effective planning, the right team and rigorous controls.
- Cost and commercial management: Driving and safeguarding your commercial interests from start to finish.
- Procurement: Developing and delivering procurement and supply chain strategies that get the best results from the market in terms of capability capacity and cost.
- Controls and performance: Applying robust and pro-active controls from a clear baseline of cost, schedule and risk to show stakeholders including workers, communities and government successful delivery of programme and project performance.
- Safety, health and quality: Embedding the strategies and culture that support effective operations and maintain a safe and healthy environment.
- Technology and data: Unlocking the potential of technology, data and information modelling to drive performance, support great decision-making and create collaborative working environments.
- Advisory: Independent advice to help make your business and investments a success.