Mining is a temporary activity, with mines operating from anywhere between a few years and a few decades. Increasingly, however, what happens after a mine is closed, and the impact this has on the local community and environment, has an important influence on the competitiveness of the mining operation.
A new ISO subcommittee on mining reclamation management (ISO/TC 82/SC 7) has recently been created to develop International Standards that can help minimize the potential long-term damage from mining activities.
A mineração é uma actividade temporária, com períodos que variam, normalmente, de poucos anos a algumas décadas. Aquilo que acontece após o fecho da mina e o impacto que aquela decisão tem nas comunidades e ambiente locais tem, de forma crescente, um grand impacto na competitividade da operação mineira.
O reconhecimento daquele facto conduziu à criação de um novo subcomité ISO (ISO/TC 82/SC 7) para desenvolver Normas Internacionais que possam ajudar a minimizar o impacto de longo-prazo das actividades mineiras.
Best practices to adopt when a mine closes
Even though mining reclamation management is thoroughly done during operation, it is a general characteristic of mining reclamation that potential damages are observed for a long time after closing mines. And it is usual that a boosted regional economy due to the mining industry declines very rapidly after closing those mines and the region faces cavitations. According to experts:
The mining reclamation management must be supported by government and developers together and the opinions of local residents must be actively reflected in the process.
Government and mine operators must prepare measures for the control and monitoring of the environment, the utilization of closed mines, the activation of the regional economy, and the budget for the project at the time of closing the development.
Government and mine operators must prepare for the local residents, who could potentially be impacted by mine closings, an official communication channel to allow interaction between all stakeholders. For example, public hearings are a proven tool to ensure open communication.