Guide to Financial Assurance for Mine Closure in Argentina: Toward responsible mine closure
Mineral resources are limited, and every mine's production cycle eventually comes to an end. If a mine is properly managed throughout its life cycle, the host country can realize long-term economic benefits.
Given the finite nature of all mining, it is essential that responsibility is taken for all the liabilities that arise when a mine’s productive life ends. The closure phase provides an opportunity to convert the space occupied by a mine into a stable environment conducive to the use of the land after closure. Worldwide, there is an increasing number of mines that provided extended economic benefits throughout their lives and then, thanks to responsible closure, were rehabilitated in a way that they became safe environments from both the physical and environmental standpoints.
Responsible mine closure requires comprehensive planning, involving the development of closure plans in the initial phases of the project and their constant updating through to execution.
One essential part of this process is planning that ensures the financing of mine closure activities. The costs involved in stabilizing and rehabilitating mined land arise at the time when mine ceases to generate income.
In order to ensure the availability of sufficient funds when the mine reaches the end of its life, many jurisdictions in different parts of the world require the establishment of financial bonds before any extractive work is done. This requirement is a way of ensuring that every mine will have the funds needed to address the tasks associated with its closure, regardless of the circumstances or date when this takes place. As part of the development and application of regulations of mining excellence that are transparent and consistent with best international practice, Argentina is preparing to establish requirements on the establishment of financial assurance to cover the closure of mining operations in its territory.
These requirements will build on the experience of multiple jurisdictions where the basic concepts of financial assurance have been applied for decades.
This guide focuses on the approaches that have proven effective in ensuring proper mine closure, taking into account Argentina’s specific circumstances and the lessons learned from other jurisdictions in the region and worldwide.
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