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Mine closure planning in the Chinese mining industry

Mine closure planning in the Chinese mining industry

SRK stands at the forefront of mine closure planning in the Chinese Mining Industry. SRK China has completed numerous Independent Technical Reviews (ITRs), covering stock exchange listing, acquisition and/or financing for both domestic and internationally based mining projects. Through this due diligence process, the Chinese Mining Industry is adopting international standards and management practices, incorporating mine closure planning.

The Chinese National requirements for mine closure focus on the management and approval of site decommissioning and rehabilitation. A Site Decommissioning and Closure Report is submitted and must be approved before closure can proceed. Currently, mine closure planning is not a Chinese National requirement.

If a domestic Chinese mining project is put forward for international listing and/or finance, it must develop and implement a mine closure planning process. A Chinese mining company that intends to invest or acquire projects internationally, will also face this requirement.

In a recent example, a Chinese mining company operating in Mongolia, seeking to list its operations on an international stock exchange, needed to develop a mine closure plan that met international industry standards.

The company commissioned SRK to completed this work. The process began with an in-depth study of Mongolian and Chinese Statutory requirements, and Australian and international industry guidelines. After a site visit SRK developed the mine closure plan.

As the operation is still in its early stages of development, with a remaining mine life of greater than 15 years, SRK produced a post-closure vision, closure principles, objectives and performance criteria. Stages for moving from the conceptual closure plan to actual execution were included, SRK took the current environmental liabilities into account and proposed measures for all current and planned future disturbances. These will be updated and refined as the operation moves through its life-cycle. Post-closure monitoring and maintenance requirements were also included. Finally, SRK used the Standardised Reclamation Cost Estimator (SRCE) to estimate the life-of-mine closure cost and current asset retirement obligations.

Peter Smith:

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