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Mine Closure and Post-Mining Transition

Mine Closure and Post-Mining Transition

Minerals and metals are critical to the products and technologies of modern society. They are also vital for the shift to a low-carbon economy. For mining to be more sustainable, the industry must provide these natural resources without compromising the integrity of the environment or the well-being of local communities in the future. Well-planned and executed mine closure and post-mining transition can help achieve this goal.

Mining projects consistent with sustainable development principles ensure planning for closure and post-mine site use is present throughout the mine’s life cycle, which consists of five stages:

  • Mine planning: exploration and feasibility studies
  • Construction: establishing the mine site, from roads and processing facilities to environmental management systems
  • Operations: active production
  • Closure: completion of the mining operation, with closure and rehabilitation of the site
  • Post-mining transition: long-term maintenance and conversion of mine site for other uses.

Mine Closure Planning

Mine closure plans should be developed in active consultation with stakeholders and provide progressive rehabilitation for shared economic, environmental, and social benefits.

Financial Assurance

Adequate financial assurance policies allow governments to ensure closure can be funded to completion even if the mining company goes bankrupt or abandons the site.

Orphaned and Abandoned Mines

Governments, alongside all stakeholders, should take a leadership role in managing and mitigating legacy liabilities.

Promoting Viable Closure and Post-Mining Policy Opportunities

We support policy-makers to implement policies for mine closure and post-mining transition through our capacity building, technical training, events, and publications consistent with our Mining Policy Framework.

It is essential that mine closure planning occurs in conjunction with mine planning and that decisions in the early stages are made with post-mining land use in mind.

The right decisions early in a mine’s life can lead to more closure options and better outcomes related to a community’s access to resources, water quality, biodiversity, and more.

Some of these outcomes include using closed mine sites to produce renewable energy to mitigate climate change and reduce dependence on fossil fuels and developing rigorous mine closure plans with precise closure cost estimates.

Post-mining transition builds trust in the sector, giving governments and local communities the confidence to know a mining project will be closed responsibly at the end of its operating life.

To support policy-makers in achieving their sustainable development goals, we work with governments around the globe on post-mining transition with a focus on three aspects of closure governance.

Additional Resources

Inclusive Closure and Post-Mining Transition at the Golden Pride…

Successful mine closure is a vital part of the full life cycle of a mining operation. Preparing for closure starts early and continues throughout the mine life until all closure activit
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Mine Closure Policies in South America

Latin American governments are moving away from relying on mining companies to follow best practices on mine closure toward developing national legislation to ensure compliance. Chile
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Global Review: Financial assurance governance for the post-mining transition

This report outlines the current state of—and global leading practices in—mine closure financial assurance to support post-mining transition governance for IGF members.
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Current Status of Mine Closure Readiness: Are governments prepared?

Governments and regulators have been implementing and revising mine closure policies, regulations, and guidance documents, but are those changes meeting the challenge?
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Mine Closure Challenges for Government and Industry

Minerals and metals are critical to the products and technologies of modern society. They are also vital for the transition to a low-carbon economy. For mining to be truly sustainab
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Guide to Financial Assurance for Mine Closure in Argentina:…

This guide outlines best practices for mine closure and applicable financial assurance for Argentina's government and mining companies.
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Mining Project Rehabilitation and Closure Guidelines: Papua New Guinea

Mine closure and reclamation should be conducted progressively and planned for from the early stages of a mining project in order to maximize the beneficial outcomes following closure.
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Laying the Foundation for Mine Closure Legislation in Argentina

What happens to a mine after it stops producing? This is an important question for authorities around the world, and Argentina is no exception. The country is well endowed with mineral
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