Integrating closure planning with other mine-planning processes is not a new idea. While most would agree on the benefits of such an approach, examples where the potential is realised remain the exception. Anglo American commenced the development of an integrated closure planning system (ICPS) with the aim to provide a consistent approach over the lifecycle of projects for the reporting and management of long-term liabilities, to achieve their goal of ensuring that they leave a positive and sustainable legacy for their host communities after their operations have closed. We propose that to achieve this objective requires focus on people, process and technology. The elements of the ICPS are: planning (e.g. life-of-mine (LOM), closure, short/medium term mine, rehabilitation), financials (e.g. premature and LOM closure liability, operational expenditure, guarantees), systems (e.g. closure toolboxes, geographic information systems, environmental management systems) and requirements (e.g. internal/external standards, policy, regulation). A multi-disciplinary team comprising mine closure, mining engineering/planning, technology and business process experts from Anglo and MWH was formed to develop the ICPS. The process involved identifying the current state of processes and systems, the target state of a fully integrated process, developing a maturity scorecard and identifying potential technology solutions that may assist in realising value at the operational level. In defining the current condition across the operations it became evident that roles and responsibilities were not clear across the organisation, both the LOM and immediate mine planning processes had no clear platform or process to facilitate closure planning interactions, and that over 40 software solutions were being used across Anglo's business units. This finding reinforced the importance and emphasised the critical nature of the 'people, process and technology' elements. Through application of a balanced scorecard, and Anglo's internal assessment of 53 Anglo operations across the globe, potential pilot mine sites were identified with low, moderate and high levels of ICPS maturity, with associated high closure risk or opportunities. Project implementation plans were developed to increase the ICPS maturity at the pilot sites to the required level that will maximise value realisation or minimise value destruction from a mine closure perspective. The paper presents the finding of the evaluation work conducted, will discuss the challenges and process applied in the development of the implementation plans that advance development of Anglo's ICPS.
Grant, C. D. & Lacy, H. W. B. (2016). Developing Anglo American's integrated closure planning system requires people, process and technology working together. In A. B. Fourie & M. Tibbett (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Mine Closure. Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth (pp. 581-594).