The future of the S&K Project operated by MYTCL is dependent on the legacy it leaves. Our reputation is affected if long-term detrimental environmental issues emerge because they have not been appropriately addressed. MYTCL recognises that we need to demonstrate today that we can effectively close the S&K Project with the support of the communities in which we operate. After completion of the mining operations, or once a part of the project becomes no longer viable or profitable to operate, closing down, removing all the operation elements and decommissioning of the mine will take place. A Conceptual Mine Closure Plan has been established by Operations Management and will be the basis for the development of a continuing closure plan that will take into account both the legal requirements, as well as the unique environmental, economic and social properties of the operations. This Conceptual Plan will take the form of an Integrated Mine Closure Plan at the conclusion of each domain in a progressive and detailed phase of implementation.
Aligning with international standards and good to best practices, MYTCL has engaged the consultancy firm of Knight Piésold to further develop the design and closure criteria for the S&K Project as a Conceptual Closure Plan. Also, now that the stages of closure are beginning in specific areas of Sabetaung pits and the adjoining facilities, MYTCL has developed in cooperation with Knight Piésold a Detailed Closure Plan for the Sabetaung features.
MYTCL's Mine Closure Planning will effectively keep four key objectives in mind during the life stages and closure stages of this project.
The Mine Closure Planning will focus on creating a safe and stable landscape that is resistant to wind and water erosion, while turning the mining lease to a condition that allows for cultivation or productive land consumption.
In order to stabilize the landscape the following works will be completed.
The MINE CLOSURE PLAN is a living document that will be continually reviewed and revised over the mine's life. The level of detail will vary as the mine matures and knowledge is gained on the significant issues to be addressed in the mine plan and options for dealing with them through closure. Throughout the mine's life, closure strategies will be regularly reviewed to ensure they are appropriate, address the major issues for closure, and remain aligned to community expectations and regulatory requirements. As part of the mine's change management system, alterations to the mine operating plan, expansions, new pits, waste dumps, or changes to the operating process will trigger a review of closure risk and review of the plan. Using the risk-based approach a review of the underlying risks to the business and closure will be undertaken on a regular basis to confirm that the controls remain adequate and the risk exposure has not materially changed since the last risk review. The collection of appropriate and accurate data through monitoring programs is critical to this process and will assist MYTCL in decision-making.
This review process provides an ideal opportunity for engagement with stakeholders through community committees and the building of relationships that develop trust and confidence in the operation.
An annual review of the closure plan is standard practice for MYTCL and also the regulators as they require annual statistics on areas of disturbance, areas rehabilitated in the previous year and areas yet to be rehabilitated. The closure plan is a key reference document during this process, as it demonstrates the philosophy and strategies to be undertaken. The level of detail reflects the complexity and the maturity of the site.
MYTCL acknowledges the concept of 'mine completion' as the goal of mine closure. Assigned a high priority by all levels of management, the integration of the elements outlined in the Mine Closure programs and in the adoption of the Leading Practice Sustainable Handbook with day-to-day operations management will allow the S&K Project to reach a state where mining lease ownership can be relinquished and responsibility accepted by the next land user. To achieve this in an environment of increasing regulatory and stakeholder expectations will require superior outcomes developed and implemented in consultation with local stakeholders.
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