Decisions, decisions, decisions: Decision analysis process for mine closure

C. Stevens, M. Murphy and C.A. Small

Decisions are part of everyday life. Some decisions require more structured processes to produce a rational and auditable methodology to support a choice between alternatives. This is especially true for closure planning and design, where there can be many alternatives with competing objectives. A decision analysis process brings together specialists from many fields, such as social, environmental, technical, and costing. Their fields of interest often have competing requirements and different risk profiles. A decision analysis process can describe the issues and objectives in plain language and effectively capture the different stakeholder viewpoints.

Klohn Crippen Berger utilizes a decision analysis process that works well with the updated process and tools described in the 2019 International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) Integrated Mine Closure Guide1 . This process builds on the Kepner-Tregoe method (K-T), a decision-making process designed to build consensus among stakeholders, consider a wide range of alternatives, identify potential risks, and develop a plan with specific actions.

The closure planning decision analysis process starts with establishing the knowledge base/problem definition (e.g., site characteristics, inventory, etc.). The closure vision, situational appraisal, principles, and objectives can be developed from that base of understanding. The objectives associated with postclosure land use are integrated in this step as well. The risks and opportunities for closure can be identified once the objectives are set and the site characteristics are known. This review leads into the development of the closure concepts and activities/alternatives, and the evaluation of these concepts against the success criteria developed based on the closure vision and end land use.

Making decisions about closure with involved, informed people and the right level of analyses applied at the right time can be the difference between successful mine closure and unforeseen long-term costs and risks.

Stevens, C., Murphy, M., & Small, C. A. (2021). Decisions, decisions, decisions : Decision analysis process for mine closure [C]. doi:

Conference paper
Decisions, decisions, decisions: Decision analysis process for mine closure