NOTE: This is a Spanish language document
To ensure the proper environmental and social management of any investment project, all stages of its life cycle must be planned, including the closing and post-project stages. The project must be situated within both space (its physical, biological and social environment) and time (past, present and future). Large mining operations are a clear example of an intergenerational project.
The focus of this guide on mine closure responds to the need to highlight the importance of this stage of medium and large-scale mining activity in our country. It is a stage which has seemingly lacked due consideration, underestimating residual environmental impacts and fueling social rejection of mining.
Today, global experience shows us that the technical aspects of mine closure must be designed in conjunction with operations, including progressive closure techniques, rather than waiting for the deposit to be exhausted before beginning to manage closure. We also know that there is a hierarchy of closure needs beginning with physical and chemical stability but including socio-economic transitions and planning of economically beneficial post-closure land uses.
No less important is the issue of mine closure costs and ways to guarantee the financing of these tasks. From international experience we know that between 70 and 90 percent of the direct costs of closing metal mines are linked to tailings management.
The Ministry of Mining Policy is committed to strengthening capacities to manage this fundamental activity to ensure the balanced development of the Nation. This guide provides tools to evaluate mine closure plans and more broadly, to understand this stage of mining that is essential to the sustainability of this industry while protecting the environment and communities, as well as offering a source of green jobs in the sector.
National Directorate for Sustainable Mineral Production, Secretariat of Mining Policy & Ministry of Production and Labour, National Presidential Office of Argentina. (2019). Resource guide for good practices in mine closure. Buenos Aires: Author.