Session 5


Mine closures - challenges and solutions

Organised in partnership with: SRK Consulting 


According to official data, about 8 thousand deposits are operating in Kazakhstan today. All of them were discovered back in the USSR times. But many of the deposits of lead, copper, and rare metals will be depleted in 10-15 years. Mine closures are associated with operational and social challenges. Once the mine is closed, the operating company is responsible for land and water reclamation as well as resolving environmental issues such as biodiversity conservation and restoration of pre-existing ecosystems. This is a technologically complex and costly process that is typically considered early in the design and development of a mine. Mines closures in Kazakhstan is a relatively recent development and practical experience in responsible mine closure is critical to the sustainable development of the industry and society. Social challenges in Kazakhstan are especially acute in the areas where purpose-built mining mono-towns are facing unemployment and population relocation. In the East Kazakhstan and Karaganda regions, closures of mines and mono-towns have already begun. It is assumed that in 5-20 years many mines in the East of Kazakhstan will be closed. This could potentiality lead to major socio-economic problems that need to be addressed urgently.

Discussion themes

• Estimates and forecasts of mine closures in Kazakhstan.
• How unique is the problem of mines closures in Kazakhstan and how they are managed in other countries?
• Subsoil use regulation changes applicable to mine closures in Kazakhstan. What’s new and how the new Environment Code works in practice?
• Implementation of the internationally accepted practices and guidelines of mine closure in Kazakhstan.
• Management of technogenic mineral deposits – regulation and practice.
• Technologies and best practices of construction and reclamation of tailings.
• Comprehensive planning and implementation of mine closure.
• Financing mine closure and post-mining rehabilitation in Kazakhstan.
• Ensuring the safety and stability of mining structures and facilities for further use.
• Reducing the social, environmental, and financial risks of mine closures and creating social, economic and cultural opportunities for the local population.
• Ensuring a socially responsible business practice and fulfilling obligations in relation to the released personnel.

Mike Beare
Director and Corporate Consultant (Mining Engineering)
SRK Consulting (Kazakhstan)

16:40 - Introduction

Mike Beare
Director and Corporate Consultant (Mining Engineering)
SRK Consulting (Kazakhstan)

16:50 - Transition to new mine closure requirements – gaps and opportunities

Sandugash Abdizhalelova
Consultant Environmental Specialist
SRK Consulting (Kazakhstan)

17:00 - Transition to new mine closure requirements – gaps and opportunities.

Nikolai Kirillov
Senior Environmental Consultant
SRK Consulting (Kazakhstan)

17:10 - Novel wireless smart sensing for ground movement measurements in open pit and underground mines

Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart
Associate Professor
Nazarbayev University

17:20 - The importance of monitoring legacy tailings

Eugene Louppov
Regional Director
Insight Terra

17:30 - TSF Monitoring as an Aide to TARP Development for Closure

Francois du Toit
Consultant Geotechnical Engineer
SRK Consulting (Kazakhstan)

17:40 - Discussion

Q&As with presenters