Tommi Kauppila, Geological Survey of Finland, P.O.Box 1237, 70211 Kuopio, Finland; tommi.kauppila(at)gtk.fi
Various organizational levels, divisions, teams and key personnel can be seen as internal stakeholders with respect to mine closure planning and execution (e.g., Government of Western Australia 2011). In addition to providing inputs to the mine closure process itself it is their designs and day to day decisions that can have profound effects on the outcomes of the closure. Many of these effects originate from the early stages of the project, most notably the pre-feasibility and feasibility stages and the resulting planning and design phase. Depending on the size of the organization, these early phases may rely heavily on contracted work of outside consultants making it necessary to also consider their inputs to the mine closure process.
In addition to the obvious key departments such as Environmental affairs and (Occupational) Health and Safety, the Mining department with its geotechnical engineering capabilities, Processing department that produces many of the waste streams central to mine closure, Geology and Exploration departments, and External (community and government) affairs department should be consulted and kept aware of the mine closure planning process. In many cases, corresponding corporate level organizational units may provide support as well. These specialized departments should be involved already in the conceptual closure planning even if their inputs become more critical towards the detailed closure planning phase.
Internal stakeholders not directly involved in the mine closure planning in the early stages of the project may be best engaged by keeping them well informed of the planning process and the goals of the eventual closure. To this aim, the goals should be concrete enough to allow the internal stakeholders to take them into account when making their planning and operational decisions early in the life of the mining operation. Certain engineering design requirements, most notably those concerning mining wastes and water management and treatment, need to take mine closure into account and thus require fairly detailed requirement specifications early in the project. All of these should be communicated effectively to the relevant internal stakeholders.
Government of Western Australia, Department of Mines and Petroleum & Environmental Protection Agency 2011. Guidelines for Preparing Mine Closure Plans. 78 p. http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/documents/Mine_Closure%282%29.pdf