British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Environmental risk management in mine development Kent, Allstair; Roberds, W; Van Zyl, D


Techniques originally developed for hazardous waste containment design and site remediation have been adapted to the evaluation of waste disposal in open-pit mining. The method is formal and explicit yet cost effective, and ensures that development decisions are optimized and defensible. This approach to risk management is based on probabilistic risk assessment and decision analysis techniques. The method facilitates evaluation of the interrelationships between mine development decisions, the trade-offs amongst possible consequences, the uncertainty in predicting consequences, and the flexibility to respond to changing conditions. The method has been applied, among other applications, to the evaluation of overall waste disposal systems for a major mine, the rational determination of reclamation bond values, and the design of close-out measures for a uranium mine. The approach provides a framework which links technical design criteria and relationships with costs and issues of environmental impact and public and regulatory acceptance.

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