The mining industry plays an important role in the economy of many member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), such as Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam. ASEAN, with more than 600 million consumers, has a large industry base that can offer vast opportunities in investment and trade in the region’s rich mineral resources.
However, non-sustainable mining poses the risk of severe environmental pollution and negative social impacts. Sustainable development of the mining sector means investments in minerals projects are financially profitable, technically appropriate, environmentally sound and socially responsible.
The mine closure process is an integral part of any mineral project and includes decommissioning and rehabilitation activities, and closure activities should be completed in accordance with a mine closure plan approved by the region’s government.
This is why the IGF participated in a workshop in Vientiane, Laos, from May 8 to 10, 2018, to assist with capacity building in mine closure legal frameworks of responsible government agencies from ASEAN member states to better understand how to achieve and manage sustainable mine closure.
The workshop included:
- Information about current legal legislative frameworks;
- Information about developing mine closure plans;
- International good practices in mine closure legal frameworks;
- How to foster stakeholder participation and engagement in developing mine closure plans;
- Discussions on financial assurance for mine closure and rehabilitation;
- Information on the relinquishment process.
The workshop provided an opportunity to foster dialogue and exchange of knowledge relating to mine closure and rehabilitation amongst ASEAN member states.
IGF team members presented on APEC’s Mine Closure Checklist, a guidance document meant to assist governments in developing closure legislation, policies and implementation. Team members also explored how to approach the post-mining transition.