Closure planning is an integral part of a resource operation to Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) in order to rehabilitate affected land for post-mining use.
The abrupt and continued closure of the Panguna mine in 1989 and during the period of conflict on Bougainville that followed, meant there was no opportunity to implement plans for its formal closure.
BCL is committed to undertaking appropriate remediation and rehabilitation studies and implementing necessary environmental programs regardless of the future operation of the Panguna mine.
Areas to be examined are the potential rehabilitation of the historical tailings deposits that remain in the Jaba River Basin and other legacies relating to the premature closure of the mine.
Studies of environmental conditions are required before remediation can take place at Panguna and other mine affected areas. These will gather new information and examine historic data to determine levels of degradation or recovery.
The scope for studies lays with the Joint Panguna Negotiation Coordination Committee (JPNCC) and will require “on the ground” access for the experts that are engaged.
The JPNCC is comprised of representatives of landowners in mine affected areas, the Autonomous Bougainville Government, the Government of Papua New Guinea and BCL.
BCL is working closely with members of the JPNCC to progress towards environmental and historical studies.
The next meeting of the JPNCC is on 22 January 2013.