Demand Likely To Grow For Mine-Closure Expertise

CLOSURE CONSEQUENCE - In the case of an unplanned mine closure, the implications are significant.

Mine closure is a field where best practice continuously evolves and there is likely to be a strong demand for this expertise as mines look to remain current and, in some instances, begin the closure process, says consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting partner and principal consultant Andrew van Zyl.

Many South African mines have to face the reality of mine closure and the associated technical, financial and environmental implications because of a combination of mines reaching the end of their lives and the tough economic climate, according to SRK.

SRK partner and principal environmental scientist James Lake tells Mining Weekly that these implications largely depend on how mine closure occurs. In the case of an unplanned closure - and especially when there has been insufficient planning the implications are significant, he notes. A 'hard stop' can result in a workforce facing imminent retrenchment and loss of livelihood, while communities potentially lose the support provided by a mine and the suppliers' contracts that are cancelled.

Acknowledged: Mining Weekly | 26/04/2019

Authors: Andrew van Zyl | Partner | Principal Consultant Adel Malebana | Senior Social Scientist James Lake | Partner | Principal Environmental Scientist / Jessica Edwards | Senior Social Scientist

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