Mine Closure: The Basics of Success

Mine Closure: The Basics of Success

Areas of Study: Environment and Community

Qualifies for CMS

Qualifies for Certification

Each mine site is unique and demands a unique closure plan and approach. This course sets down the current state of ideas, practice, and possibilities for mine closure, and empowers you to move forward to success with a practical mine closure plan.

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  • Audience Level:
  • Professional
  • Enrollment:
  • Required
  • Duration:
  • 15 hours

Course Summary


In theory, mine closure is simple; in practice, it is difficult. In this course, we will start with the simple and then proceed to the more difficult, which we will explain in terms that will enable you to deal with the many issues that arise as you plan and implement mine closure.

The simple part of mine closure may be set down as three objectives:

  • remove equipment and structures;
  • stabilize waste piles; and
  • control spread of pollutants from the closed site.
As we shall see as we progress through this course, these three simple objectives quickly give rise to many questions and knotty issues, including:

  • Who pays?
  • Who says enough is enough? And,
  • What is to become of the site in the long term?
Many more related and difficult issues arise. Reading only this course will not enable you to solve all the problems. Each mine site is unique and demands a unique closure plan and approach. You will undoubtedly have to formulate the specifics of the closure plan for your mine by way of many studies, meetings, reports, and deep deliberations. This course will attempt to set down the current state of ideas, practice, and possibilities, so that you are empowered to move forward to success at the mine where you are part of a team charged with mine closure.

Course Content

The principal topics covered by this course include:

  • Introduction and Basic Concepts
  • Laws, Regulations and Standards for Mine Closure
  • Post-Closure Mine Use
  • Mine Closure Phases, Planning and Implementation
  • Financing Mine Closure
  • The Engineering of Closure
  • Social Issues of Mine Closure
  • Common Mistakes of Mine Closure
The course comprises 25 learning sessions, each of 30–60 minutes duration, supported by numerous figures, tables, case studies and appendices, plus eight interactive reviews that confirm the viewer's achievement of learning objectives. The total duration of the course is approximately fifteen hours.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize and discuss the multi-disciplinary components of mine closure.
  • Formulate the specifics of a closure plan for a mine by way of studies, meetings, reports and deliberations.
  • Oversee the implementation of a mine closure plan.

Recommended Background

  • A degree in engineering, geology, environmental science or equivalent discipline.
  • Knowledge and experience of the mining process.

Jack A. Caldwell

Jack Caldwell, P.Eng, has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, an M.Sc. (Eng.) in Geotechnical Engineering and a post-graduate law degree. He has over 35 years engineering experience on mining, civil, geotechnical and site remediation projects. He has worked on numerous projects throughout southern Africa, Europe, Latin America, Canada, and the United States. His project experience includes:

- mines and waste disposal facilities - design, construction supervision and reclamation of tailings impoundments, mine rock dumps, heap leach pads, landfills and radioactive waste disposal units;

- hazardous and radioactive waste site remediation - senior management and technical consultant

- landfills - design, construction, operation and closure with special focus on liners, covers, and soil reinforcement.

In addition, Mr. Caldwell has been the lead specialist for various geotechnical and civil engineering projects in Southern California. Mr. Caldwell has written many engineering reports, proposals, and technical papers. He is the lead author of the book, Principles and Practice of Waste Encapsulation, on the design of waste disposal facilities for radioactive and hazardous wastes.