Mining operations have a finite life, and their social, economic and environmental impacts—positive and negative—continue long after the mine closes. At every mine, we continue to update our plans for the mine’s eventual closure, to plan for the costs and ensure that we leave a sustainable, positive legacy for our host communities and stakeholders.
Planning for mine closure is integral to environmental management. The plans encompass a wide range of environmental, social, and economic concerns, including reclamation and remediation, decommissioning, public safety, social management, post-closure monitoring, and the transfer of assets.
When legally required, we post financial assurance to cover closure costs. As at December 31, 2019, we had consolidated surety bonds totaling $54 million to cover these obligations.
In 2019, we continued to develop and implement an enterprise-level mine closure standard that is integrated in our overall environment and community relations management system. We are developing social closure plans for all our operating sites to further deliver on our commitment to providing long-term, lasting benefits for our host communities.
- At Marigold Mine, the mine closure plan totaled $46.5 million on December 31, 2019 (developed in 2002; approved by the BLM and the State of Nevada approve the financial bond estimates).
- At Seabee Gold Operation, the mine closure plan’s reclamation bond requirements totaled $5.3M on December 31, 2019. (Developed in 1996, updated every five years, the plan includes provisions for reclamation, rehabilitation and eventual relinquishment of the property to the Government of Saskatchewan)
- At Puna Operations, mine closure plans were part of the Chinchillas Environmental Impact Assessment, and were approved as part of the broader EIA approval.