End-of-life planning for mines requires careful planning and assessment

Due to the nature of mining, the Minerals and Petroleum…


Due to the nature of mining, the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (No. 28 of 2002) requires mines to have an environmental management programme in place, with the necessary funds allocated to it for closure before a mining permit is issued.

Mining and heavy industry are always evolving as new technology results in new methods and optimised operations. As such, consultation may occur in multiple stages during a facility’s lifespan, most notably after major upgrades or changes to on-site infrastructure.

“Wherever there is industry, there is a need for end-of-life planning. Africa’s rich and diverse mineral reserves are perfect for continuous improvement in systems and processes, in turn leading to more challenging and exciting planning opportunities,” comments Kate Bester, Project and Contracts Manager at Jet Demolition.

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The company provides professional on-site demolition assessments to large mining houses and industrial clients whereby experienced staff conduct on-site investigations of existing infrastructure. The main aim is to determine the cost, resources, and schedule details relating to the demolition aspects of future closures.

More crucially, however, it is an opportunity for early involvement in final closure planning, which may ultimately result in an optimised closure approach. Such an assessment extends beyond measuring and quantifying what is present.

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It affords the opportunity to identify, record and plan for heritage on-site conditions that may require special attention, allows for the identification of assets that may be transferred or sold prior to closure, and also considers options with regard to the timing, sequencing, and execution of closure.

The highly experienced members of the engineering and operations department at Jet Demolition who carry out these assessments possess various qualifications such as MSc degrees and engineering diplomas, combined with extensive practical experience.

The safety and environmental teams also contribute to these studies, enabling full turnkey consultation with clients. This process ensures that all major items are carefully considered during pre-closure planning, aligning budgetary provisions with the final adopted approach.

While on-site assessments do not necessarily translate into additional scope of work, they do build on existing client relationships. “We have always focused on providing comprehensive, turnkey services to our clients. Demolition assessments are part and parcel of our turnkey demolition solutions,” highlights Bester.

“There have been many projects throughout Africa where on-site assessments have been carried out successfully at large mining houses and heavy industrial plants. We provide practical, cost-effective and safety-centric solutions to technically demanding projects. Our reputation and experience in industry is well-suited to assist clients with preparatory works and detailed planning in order to best plan for end-of-life of large facilities,” she concludes.





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