Mine Closure Planning
Comprehensive mine closure planning is an important facet of maintaining strong relationships with local governments and communities and, as a risk management process, also benefits us. Without proper planning, we could be exposed to higher costs, missed opportunities, compensation claims and reputational damage. A detailed closure plan will be prepared at least 5 years prior to closure.
The Bisha Mine closure and reclamation liability is based on our best estimate for site closure and reclamation. The estimates were updated in 2016, with a current closure cost of $40,031,000. Undoubtedly, closure will result in potential socio-economic impacts for the local populations; specifically, regaining access to grazing land occupied by the mining operations and loss of employment, which will impact the emerging local wage based economy. One option to offset this local economic decline is to plant species for dry season grazing as well as Acacia senegal that can be harvested for Gum Arabic, a cash crop that the Ministry of Agriculture is supporting. Our BMSC Training Centre is also improving workers’ skills that will improve their employability in other mining companies.
In 2016, BMSC initiated a two year process to develop a Detailed Environmental Mine Closure Plan to describe and cost appropriate closure options for the site; this will supersede the conceptual plan registered with the Eritrean Ministry of Energy and Mines. The plan will incorporate specialized studies by external consultants including a waste rock stability study and a more detailed evaluation of the dynamics and water chemistry of the Harara and Bisha pit lakes.
In 2017, BMSC will develop a social mine closure plan for mitigating negative socio-economic impacts.