British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Cost generation aspects of the Gibraltar closure plan Patterson, Robert J.; Wambolt, Todd


One of the prime considerations of closure planning is to provide for the long term environmental security of the site. Ideally it is the mandate of any operator to strive towards a program that will require minimal maintenance, control and monitoring of the site leading to the ultimate relinquishment of long term liability. In more recent years, especially for mines with water quality issues, this relinquishment of long term responsibility seems less likely to occur and as a result large bonds are being requested from operators of mines. These bonds insure an on-going sustainable fund to maintain the site. If operators must maintain a presence at these operations, then there is an incentive to make use of the existing infrastructure to create alternate businesses. Gibraltar has embarked on an aggressive program to look for alternative business ventures which generate revenue to offset long term bonding arrangements. Projects being considered or in the works are a solid waste landfill to be located on top of a waste rock dump, a power generation project, metallurgical test work, maintenance work in existing shops, ranching and should the mine start at a later date the development of a hydrometallurgical refinery plant that will operate long after reserves at the Gibraltar site are depleted.

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