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MINES AND ENVIRONMENT 

MINE CLOSURE  2024 CONFERENCE 

Date : Fri 15th March 2024 

Venue : Crown Perth Astral Ballroom
Great Eastern Hwy, Burswood Western Australia 

Time : 8.00am - 5.15pm 

Sundowner : 5.30pm - 7.30pm

Australian Western Standard Time (AWST; UTC+08:00)


Conference includes; 

Morning Tea, Lunch, Beverages, Afternoon Tea, Proceedings , Sundowner canapes and drinks

Cost:

Conference $690pp

Members $600pp

Livestream option 
Cost : $590pp 

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Welcome to the Mines and Environment 2024 Mine Closure Conference 

After the resounding success of the 2023 Mine Closure Conference, we are delighted to announce the much-anticipated 2024 Mines and Environment Mine Closure Conference in our home base city of Perth, Western Australia. 

The 2024 Mine Closure Conference will showcase insightful presentations addressing the legal, environmental, and practical challenges encountered in the Western Australian and global Mining Sectors.

Delegates will have the chance to learn, share, and collaborate on the latest information, mine closure regulations/auditing findings, frameworks, research, and discoveries aimed at bridging communication gaps and ensuring compliance for a sustainable future.

The highlight of the occasion promises an invigorating Sundowner, featuring captivating light entertainment, delightful canapés, refreshing beverages, and abundant networking opportunities.

Save with our early bird bookings now! Secure your spot individually, or opt for a group booking of 8 to enjoy exclusive savings.

What to expect: 

Gain insights into the latest industry trends, regulations, and technologies related to mine closure, contributing to your professional growth. Connect with industry experts, professionals, and stakeholders, fostering valuable relationships that can lead to sustainable collaborations.  Learn from successful mine closure case studies and best practices, providing practical knowledge for effective closure strategies. Stay informed about evolving environmental regulations and compliance standards relevant to mine closure, ensuring your operations align with the latest legal requirements.

 

Discover cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions that can enhance the efficiency and sustainability of mine closure processes.  Understand the complexities of mine closure risk management, enabling you to proactively address potential challenges in your projects. Deepen your understanding of sustainable practices and responsible environmental stewardship, contributing to the overall improvement of industry practices and gain diverse perspectives by interacting with professionals from various geographical locations, broadening your understanding of global industry dynamics.

Attending the 2024 Mines and Environment Mine Closure Conference will  ensure that you remain at the forefront of industry advancements, fostering both personal and professional development.

Who should attend? 

Mining and Environmental Professionals, Mine Closure Planners , Hydrogeologists, Scientists,  Engineers

 

Master of Ceremonies 

Celine Mangan
Manager Closure Rehab & Contaminated Sites

Mineral Resources Ltd 

Recently recognized as one of the top three finalists in the prestigious 2024 Women in Resources Awards (WIRA) by CME WA, her achievement coincides with the release of a CSIRO report highlighting the potential for a burgeoning industry to support mine closures, presenting economic opportunities for Indigenous communities.

With a rich background spanning 15 years in both technical and managerial capacities, Ms. Mangan spearheaded the MinRes team's efforts in optimizing mine closures.

Simultaneously, she actively mentored and nurtured the next generation of female scientists and engineers within the organization.

It is with great pride that we announce Celine Mangan as the master of ceremonies for the Mines and Environment 2024 Mine Closure Conference.

PROGRAM TOPICS  
 

Latest news from WA’s Lead Regulatory Agency for Mine Closure
Dr Danielle Risbey  I  Team Leader Mine Closure & Technical Advice, DMIRS

From a State, National and International perspective, there is a disproportionately short list of successful examples of mine closure in comparison to the number of new mines gaining approval each year.  
To explore opportunities to improve mine closure policy and practices in Western Australia, the Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DEMIRS) restructured its Resource and Environmental Compliance Division and created a Mine Closure and Technical Advice Team (Closure team) in early 2022.

Following some reflection of over a decade of mine closure plan assessment, the Closure team is leading the revision of the Mine Closure Plan guidelines in an effort to improve the information provided in mine closure plans.

Other future project directions for the Closure Team will involve exploring ways to improve the regulation of mine closure implementation and aim to make the process of relinquishment a more attractive option than entering a “lengthy, unwarranted period of care and maintenance”.

This presentation will provide insights into the key changes planned for the MCP guidelines and other proposed mine closure related project work.
 
The Pilbara Iron-Ore Industry and Mine Closure Planning
Natalie Brown 
Lecturer / University of Western Australia ​

This presentation  discusses mine closure regulation under the Western Australian State agreement regime; specifically, Pilbara iron ore mines authorised by State agreements. Not all Pilbara agreement mines are subject to Western Australia’s legislative mine closure requirements. 

 

Pilbara agreement mines are only subject to mine closure planning requirements in three situations: if the  Environment Minister has imposed, an implementation condition following an environmental impact assessment under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA); the Mining Act 1978 (WA) applies to the mine; or an agreement term imposes an obligation to do so. Some Pilbara mines slip through the regulatory gaps because of the unique interaction of State agreements with other legislation.

 

While the focus of this presentation is on the Pilbara agreement mines, the same propositions apply to all mines authorised by State agreements in WA.

The Mine Closure Solutions Industry: Growing the value created through mine closure and post mine transitions. 

Dr Guy Boggs

CEO, CRC Time (Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economics) 

 
Recent research undertaken by CRC TiME and the CSIRO has identified the closure of nearly 240 Australian mines by 2040, estimating an annual expenditure of $4-8 billion on the diverse range of activities associated with mine rehabilitation and closure.
 
Australia has the potential to turn the mine closure challenge into opportunities for business, domestically and globally. The report identifies existing and emerging opportunities across four categories:
•    Engagement and partnership, such as services, equipment and technology that enables effective engagement, co-design of post-mining solutions and mutually beneficial partnerships.
•    Waste reduction and recovery, such as reprocessing of mine wastes to obtain minerals and use of mine wastes for new purposes.
•    Mine rehabilitation, such as services and technologies that improve performance a
nd cost-effectiveness.
•    Land use transitions, such as repurposing for assets for renewable energy generation.
 
This presentation will explore this opportunity and the enabling platforms being developed by CRC TiME and our partners to capitalise on this opportunity over coming decades.

 

Remote Monitoring Net Ecosystem Productivity

Lachlan Ashby

Environmental Scientist | O'Kane Consultants 


Post-closure monitoring and adaptive management is a critical stage of the rehabilitation of mine-affected landscapes. Unfortunately, the level of effort and costs associated with this stage of the mine lifecycle is often underestimated.

Frequently the costs to mobilize a team to ground-survey a wide footprint of natural and disturbed ecosystem can be cost prohibitive. In addition, ground-surveys traditionally target the lagging indicators of success. Remote monitoring can present an opportunity to monitor leading indicators of ecosystem recovery and support a more flexible approach to adaptive management.


Technological advancements have significantly increased the accessibility of unmanned aerial vehicles for high-resolution imagery. This presentation will illustrate how seasonal, aerial imagery can be paired with established monitoring methods to help assess the progress of areas undergoing rehabilitation. This approach can assist in early recognition of revegetation success factors and inform rehabilitation plans for long term net ecosystem productivity.


Abstract Keywords: Rehabilitation, Vegetation, Aerial Monitoring, Evapotranspiration

​Co-Author’s Name,

Company Affiliation, and Email Address:Miriam Clark, Okane Consultants, mclark@okc-sk.com

The Future Direction of Pit Lakes: Part 2, Corporate and Regulatory Closure Needs to Improve Management

Dr Cherie McCullough

Director,  Principal Environmental Scientists | Mine Lakes Consulting 

 

Pit lakes may present significant risks to ecological and human receiving environments but can also provide beneficial end use opportunities. From initial planning to long-term closure, regulation and corporate management of pit lake closure can be improved to realise more sustainable pit lake legacies.

 

We recommend strategies to structurally improve the practice of pit lake closure for the mining industry. We identify barriers that often limit the understanding of pit lake processes and closure practices and suggest ways that closure practitioners, and regulators can improve pit lake management.

 

Recommended corporate changes include: conducting risk assessments at an early planning stage; funding pit lake research and trials; allowing data sharing and case study publication; avoiding the simplifying assumption of a fully mixed pit lake when making predictions; integrating climate change into pit lake predictions; improving the quality of technical reporting; generating industry guidance for pit lake rehabilitation; maximizing opportunities for subaqueous, in-pit disposal of mine wastes; creating a positive legacy through beneficial uses of pit lakes; and verifying predictions using long-term monitoring.

 

Recommended regulatory advancements include: raising expectations of corporate pit lake closure planning and execution; acknowledging good pit lake closure examples but recognising lessons also; balancing the need to simulate long closure periods with expectations of model reliability; considering the value of pit lakes as future water resources during approvals; and requiring closure costing commensurate to closure risk.

International principles and standards for the ecological restoration and recovery of mine sites

Dr Renee Young

Program Director, Conservation and Restoration | Western Australia Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI) 

 

Radical transformation of the mining sector is well underway as the world pursues a net zero target. With exponential growth in critical minerals new mines are opening across all major continents while concurrently there is also unprecedented levels of mine closure as fossil fuels are exhausted or being phased out.

 

Companies are adopting rapid decarbonization operating models and minimizing emissions across the board.  The number one business risk for mining and metals is Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance, including addressing greater expectations around biodiversity. The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) is accelerating the focus of biodiversity as a business risk with companies needing to understand and report on biodiversity.


Mitigating ESG risk includes avoiding and minimizing impacts wherever possible and where these can’t be avoided, returning functional, resilient, and referenced-based ecosystems following mining through ecological restoration and then offsetting residual impacts.

 

There remains, however, a vast gap between global targets and what is being achieved on-ground. Achieving pre-mining levels of environmental condition and biodiversity is often incredibly challenging due the substantial changes in the geological profile and creation of vast waste landforms. Launched at COP15, where the Global Biodiversity Framework was agreed, the International Principles and Standards for the Ecological Restoration and Recovery of Mine Sites, provides a robust framework for best practice ecological restoration and aims to support the mining industry to minimize the recovery gap following mining and, where possible, move towards nature positive.

 

The Mine Site Restoration Standards provide the detail required to effectively plan, implement and monitor environmental condition and biodiversity that will return functional, resilient and reference-based ecosystems.

These practices can integrate with environmental accounting tools (e.g. EEA) and risk-based frameworks (e.g. TNFD) to reduce ESG corporate risk and support sustainable business operations.

Shifting post-mining land use planning from mine site to regional scale

Prof Claire Côte

Director, Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry

 Sustainable Minerals Institute | The University of Queensland


Mine closure is regulated and planned on an individual site basis and selection of post-mining land uses is commonly considered from that perspective.

Some mining jurisdictions, such as Queensland, are starting to acknowledge the need for wider regional planning approaches in which the selection of post-mining land use would consider regional and local planning strategies, the surrounding landscape and community views.

Shifting thinking from site-specific planning to regional scale offers strategic advantages, including the ability to consider options that are only viable at scale. It requires an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates diverse technical, planning and social stakeholders. In this presentation, we describe a collaborative regional assessment methodology that can provide a pathway towards greater collaboration between mine operators, governments, regulators and regional stakeholders for the development of post-mining futures.  
 

Valuing nature: Generating a strategic advantage through natural capital

Deni Campbell

Climate & Sustainability | Deloitte Australia 

Key talking points:

 

Introduction on natural capital – how investors, miners and stakeholders are shifting their view on valuing nature.

Closure & the natural environment– what is it really about? What are the aims? Where has it gone well (linking to nature)?

Incorporating natural capital for strategic value creation and business resilience – how, why, and when would you do this?

Water Stewardship throughout the life of the mine  -  and why mine closure planners should incorporate a strategy from the beginning.

Dr Emma Gagen 

Manager Mine Closure and Water | International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM)  

Water is a precious, shared resource with high social, cultural, environmental and economic value. Access is a basic human right and a fundamental requirement for healthy, functional ecosystems. The mining and metals sector’s dependency and impact on this shared resource is a risk that requires management via a water stewardship approach. We know in principle that water stewardship is the use of water in ways that are socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial. 


But what does this look like in practice for our industry and at our operations day-to-day?


How do we integrate the critical role of water in many priority agendas across the sector presently (climate resilience, social performance, operational excellence, nature positive)?
How do ensure water stewardship is considered throughout the life of mine, including in closure and post-closure planning? 
How do we promote continual improvement in water stewardship practices at corporate and asset levels? 
ICMM is supporting leadership in water stewardship through development of a practical tool, applicable at corporate and asset levels, to answer these and other water stewardship considerations.

 

It draws on a range of leading practice principles to help companies understand what water stewardship means in practice for our industry and to develop their own plans for advancing water stewardship, tailored to different operating contexts, risks and priorities.

 

 

From Beginning to End, Water Touches Everything in Mining
Walter Weinig, Stantec

From initial exploration through post-closure care, water is a key consideration in mining projects. Questions around water supply, water quality, potential impacts on indigenous communities, effects on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem have to be considered throughout the life of the mine. Assessing water-related issues early in a project provides opportunities to improve outcomes and address potential impacts as mines go into closure and post-closure care.

This presentation covers some of the key areas where the mine life cycle and the hydrologic cycle intertwine. In the early exploration phase, water resources can be assessed for quantity and quality. This step is sometimes overlooked in early project development, resulting in mistaken assumptions regarding water availability for mining and processing – and also missing opportunities for sustainable project development. During construction and operation, mines generally either have too much water or too little and must manage accordingly. They can also be affected by extreme events such as storms or drought, overlaid by the impacts of climate change depending on the projected mine life. Flow and water quality are often key drivers for closure and post-closure care requirements.

Looking at the mine life cycle and the hydrologic cycle as coupled systems provides a framework for understanding how water touches each phase of an individual mine’s development. Understanding the key touch points results in opportunities to develop more sustainable operations, closure options, and improve outcomes for all stakeholders including the natural environment.

Traditional Owner Experiences with the Argyle Diamond Mine Closure

Kia Dowell 

Chairperson | Gelganyem Group   

Diamond mining has been taking place on the Traditional Lands of the Miriuwung and Gija peoples in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia since the late 1970s. Prior to 2005, various agreements were in place between the mine's owners and some Traditional Owners and communities to share benefits from the mine's operation, but these benefits were not seen as being shared equitably and did not recognize all the Traditional Owners who should be recognized.

In the early 2000's when Argyle Diamonds concluded that the life of the mine could be extended past planned closure of open pit operations through the commencement of underground mining, work commenced on building a new agreement between Argyle and the Traditional Owners. Argyle entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Kimberley Lands Council who on behalf of the Traditional Owners set out agreement principles, process and a timetable.

A critical component of building the agreement was the carrying out of comprehensive ethnographic and genealogical studies of the mine lease area to determine, for the first time, which Traditional Owners should be beneficiaries.

Kia will outline in this presentation, the challenges and experiences throughout the Argyle Diamond Mine Closure 

Aboriginal Heritage and Native Title law considerations in Mine Closure and Lifecycle of a Mine: Striking a balance between economic interest and cultural integrity.

Jessica Pollock / Lavan (Law Firm) 

This presentation will delve into the interplay between Aboriginal heritage preservation and mine closures, with a primary focus on the legal considerations outlined in legislation (particularly, the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (NT Act) and Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) (AH Act), as well as navigating the intersect of native title and heritage laws with the Mining Act 1978 (WA), ensuring that mine closure plans align with both regimes.

Striking a balance between economic imperatives, legal compliance and cultural integrity demands innovative solutions and a commitment to ongoing engagement and communication.

Consideration of First Nations’ cultural values in mine site rehabilitation by environmental professionals.

Dr Janine Joyce | Centre for People, Place and Planet, Edith Cowan University

Rehabilitation of mined land on First Nations’ country after mine closure must achieve particular criteria to be  considered successful. Generally, these conditions are based on achieving a habitable condition that is more or less similar to analogue sites or to the pre–mining state. Rehabilitating a site to a habitable condition requires the restoration of cultural values, as well as environmental and economic values. This study investigates the extent to which First Nations’ cultural values are considered in mine rehabilitation in northern Australia. Interviews were conducted with environment professionals who had experience rehabilitating mine sites on First Nations’ land in the Northern Territory, Australia.

The participants were asked about their experiences restoring First Nations’ cultural values to mined land. Thematic analysis found six main themes: “Values” (which need to be restored); “Planning” (of rehabilitation activities); “Impediments/barriers” (to successful rehabilitation); “Solutions” (to the barriers); “Traditional Owners” and “Principles”. This study shows that mining environmental professionals argue that, with suitable political and corporate support, many cultural values could be restored.

 

However, it was generally agreed that government oversight and regulation in relation to reinstatement of First Nations’ cultural

values needed to be improved. Several participants suggested that greater consideration should be given to closure plans generally, to financial means to carry out rehabilitation, and specifically to planning to identify and address the rehabilitation of First Nations’ cultural values prior to approval. Other findings were also that First Nations’ cultural values and environmental values are closely aligned, and that consultation and effective communication with Traditional Owners are the key to integrating awareness of First Nations’ cultural values into mine rehabilitation practices

Liability for failing to rehabilitate mines in Western Australia: Law reform options to promote greater compliance

Joseph Waters | University of Western Australia 

 

WA's regulatory regime for mine rehabilitation is inadequate to protect the environment. Current WA law requires companies to submit mine closure plans, but provides no strict requirements on when and how mines are to be closed and rehabilitated. Neither the compliance mechanisms under the Mining Act nor the annual levy under the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act provide sufficient incentive to rehabilitate.

 

There are a number of modes by which a mining company may fail to rehabilitate, including (1) by placing its mine indefinitely into care and maintenance, (2) by transferring ownership of its mine late in the mine life cycle to a smaller company who may not have the financial capacity to rehabilitate, and (3) by the company's liquidators disclaiming onerous property under the Corporations Act. These three 'failure modes' are exemplified in the cases of Poseidon Nickel Ltd's Lake Johnston Operation, Rosslyn Hill Mining Pty Ltd's Paroo Station and Kimberley Diamond Co NL's Ellendale diamond mine.

 

Law reform options to address the three 'failure modes' include (1) requiring companies whose mines have been in care and maintenance for over 10 years to show cause why the mine should not be rehabilitated, (2) greater scrutiny of mine transfers or changes to the controlling ownership of mining companies, and (3) inserting environmental costs into the priority payment list in section 556 of the Corporations Act.

 

Further preventative reform measures include (1) mandated progressive rehabilitation, (2) tiered levies under the MRF Act, (3) re-expanding the use of rehabilitation bonds, and (4) better transparency in data collection and sharing leading to the introduction of clear and achievable completion criteria for rehabilitation and final relinquishment.

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Join us for the After the Event Sundowner 

Sundowner includes networking opportunities, light entertainment, canapes and bws from 5.30pm - 7.30pm 

Included in the Conference ticket 

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Sundowner Sponsorship is available

Email minesandenvironment@jazcorpaustralia.com.au for more information  or call 1300 667 709

The Venue

CROWN PERTH

GREAT EASTERN HWY

BURSWOOD WESTERN AUSTRALIA

 

ASTRAL BALLROOM

 

Located on the banks of the iconic Swan River and only minutes from the CBD, Optus Stadium and airport, Crown offers excellent views, and is Perth's prime conference and business meeting venue.

On-site Parking is easily accessed  

See Parking Map and General Map to access the Ballroom 

Parking Map
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Responsible mining practices are continually evolving with ever more emphasis on values-based behaviours that deliver sustainable benefits for people and the planet, even after a mine is closed.  

Please see an overview of our Mine Closure 2023 event below 
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