The Asia Miner

JUL-SEP 2018

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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the asia miner • volume 15 • issue 3 4 LEADING DEVELOPMENTS The Associaঞon of Southeast Asian Naঞons (ASEAN) member countries, government officials and experts from Laos convened at a workshop earlier this year to discuss internaঞonal standards for sustainable mine closures. The three-day workshop on a mine closure legal framework in ASEAN member states was opened in Vienঞane, Laos, by the Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines, Mr Chansone Senboualath and the German Ambassador to Laos, Mr Jens Lütkenherm. The workshop has been organised by the Department of Mines, Ministry of Energy and Mines in cooperaঞon with the ASEAN Secretariat and the Coordinaঞng Commiee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia. With more than 600 million consumers, ASEAN has a large industry base that can offer vast opportuniঞes for investment and trade in the region's rich mineral resources. ASEAN's 2014 Nay Pyi Taw Declaraon sঞpulates that mineral development is pivotal in "strengthening ASEAN unity and solidarity" as well as playing a central role in maintaining and promoঞng economic integraঞon in the region. Over the years, the countries have acknowledged that non-sustainable mining not only poses severe environmental polluঞon, but also yields negaঞve social impacts and investor backlash. An integral part of mining operaঞons also includes the closure of a mine and can occur at any stage of mine cycle operaঞons. Historically, the closure of a mine has been an uncontrolled process, with equipment and materials without salvage value abandoned in place, mine openings le[ unaended and nature assumed to reclaim the lands on its own. The global history of abandoned sites and their consequences has resulted in the rise of regulaঞons intended to prevent abandonment and ensure that mine sites are closed in a safe and sustainable manner. The global development of these regulaঞons has been uneven, with some jurisdicঞons sঞll having lile or no regulaঞon in the maer, while others possess a robust governance framework. The mine closure process is an integral part of any mineral project and includes decommissioning and rehabilitaঞon acঞviঞes. Mine closure can occur at any stage of mine cycle operaঞons. In Quarter 1 of this year, the APEC Mining Task Force – with support from Natural Resources Canada and Golder Associates – released the Mine Closure Checklist for Governments. The objecঞve of the Mine Closure Checklist for Governments is to provide policy makers in the APEC region with the essenঞal elements of a successful mine closure governance framework based on leading internaঞonal guidelines and standards, as well as internaঞonal experience. The checklist is designed to provide a logical, sequenঞal series of steps that will allow policy makers to idenঞfy gaps in their current mine closure framework and idenঞfy how to address those gaps. The taskforce believes that "a clear, effecঞve mine closure framework will help protect the environment and interests of the community and will also encourage the benefits that are brought by investment and development of mining opportuniঞes". Current world models for mine closure policy cannot be easily, if at all, applied in the APEC region. Many of the developed naঞons have relaঞvely advanced closure polices that are supported by well-funded and robust regulatory bodies – something that may not exist in the APEC region. Furthermore, the closure policy for some smaller naঞons may contain prescripঞve elements that are only applicable within a relaঞvely limited climaঞc or geographical zone. The Mine Closure Checklist for Governments is intended for both technical and non-technical government members and advisers with an interest in mine closure, guiding government policies with respect to mine closure and how these policies should be implemented and sustained including administraঞon and governance. A clear and effecve mine closure framework has far reaching benefits Sustainable management of mine closures on the region's agenda

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