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The Challenges of Managing an Impending Mine Closure

Belinda Martin – SSE, Sibelco Australia Pty Ltd

ABSTRACT

The fact is that most mines do not close when their mineral resources are exhausted but close prematurely due to a range of reasons including geotechnical, economic, regulatory and other pressures. Mining companies can develop and implement a mine closure plan that will highlight risks and set out a work breakdown structure to get from point A to point B, but keeping your employees focused on safety, motivated and retained brings many challenges. Strong leadership, a simple safety management system, ‘value add’ processes and ensuring employees have access to the right tools and equipment are extremely important but it is the workforce culture that drive safety and business outcomes. This paper will outline the challenges an impending 2019 mine closure brings and will explain the impacts on the workforce and the steps my team and I are taking to keep our workers safe up until the day we raise the ladder for the final time.