ICMM helps protect social licence with latest closure guide

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has put environmental protection, social wellbeing and financial performance at the forefront of its mine closure guide.

ICMM manager Dawn Brock said the industry’s approach in managing local community issues had continued to evolve.

The approach includes social aspects of mine closure, post-closure land use and the development of relinquishment strategies.

Mine closure is a priority issue for communities, non-government organisations and wider society, and it’s central to the social licence of mining, according to Brock.

The latest mine closure guide reflects the evolving responsible mining practices, placing greater emphasis on behaviours that deliver sustainable benefits long after a mine has closed.

“Mining companies must prioritise responsible closure of their mines to ensure that the social licence of mining is not diminished and the industry is able to continue delivering the raw materials required for ongoing sustainable development of society,” Brock said.

“…Community interest in closure outcomes has increased in recent years, together with a perception that mining company’s efforts to address community perspectives have fallen short of what is needed.

“With many mines across the globe facing closure over the next decade, ICMM decided to update its closure guidance to incorporate advancements in practice.”

Projected mine closures around the world. A total of 18 ICMM member companies provided information for 441 assets, less than half of the total number of members’ assets. This is based on 2018 Life of Mine estimates and therefore the findings are indicative, rather than conclusive and will vary depending on commodity prices. Source: ICMM


ICMM advised companies to approach mine closure with early planning, an alignment of a shared vision of a post-mining future and a development of relationships.

The latest mine closure guide considers every step of the pathway, including closure vision, risks assessment, closure activities, costs and execution plan as well as maintenance.

“The guide is free for mining companies and regulators to use and can assist in formulating well-considered decisions when planning for and closing a mine,” Brock said.

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