Mine Closure Planning
“Mine closure incorporates a process which must start at the commencement of mining and continue throughout the life of a mine. It should be executed within the framework of sustainable development.” (Department of Minerals and Energy, 2001 - a)
The principles set out in section 2 of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No.107 of 1998) does apply to all prospecting and mining operations, as the case may be, and any matter relating to such operation; and serve as guidelines for the interpretation, administration and implementation of the environmental requirements of this Act.
Any prospecting or mining operation must be conducted in accordance with generally accepted principles of sustainable development by integrating social, economic and environmental factors into the planning and implementation of prospecting and mining projects in order to ensure that exploitation of mineral resources serves present and future generations.
Government Notice 1520, Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (Act 28 of 2002): regulations stipulate that the following closure objectives must form part of the Environmental Management Programme (EMP):
- Identify the key objectives for closure of the operation to guide the project design,
- Development and management of environmental impacts;
- Provide future land use objectives for the site; and
- Provide proposed closure costs.