The purpose of this post-closure period is to ensure that all reclaimed mine lands, water management structures and revegetation are working as intended. Additionally, reclamation and long-term stabilization often occur incrementally, requiring a phased approach as well as ongoing performance monitoring. There are maintenance activities to be conducted to address erosion, and monitoring to ensure that post-closure performance criteria are being met and intended land uses are being achieved. Normally, there are financial surety instruments in place, which require that Newmont demonstrate successful closure in order to be released from financial liability. In many cases, long-term water management obligations require active water treatment and monitoring that could last for decades. In such cases, financial trusts are often established in cooperation with regulatory agencies to ensure adequate funding for personnel, supplies and equipment to fulfill these ongoing obligations.
During this stage, engagement activities with the local communities continue, and emphasize monitoring, land use and information about on-site activities. Communities are obviously still interested in site activities and often participate in reviewing technical issues and decision making. In some cases, a small number of people remain employed, depending on on-site activities, which often translates into local purchases of goods and services and payment of fees and property taxes.
With sound planning and a focus on sustainability, the mine and the community will have collaboratively set the foundation for life after the mine’s closure.