Mine Closure Planning //
Each of our operations has a closure plan, all of which were developed using guidance provided by the British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines. Mexican environmental law also requires that tailings ponds be monitored for a certain period of time (to be determined at closure) to ensure there is no risk of spillage. All of our mine closure plans were updated in 2015 to account for changes in the scope and footprint of the operations and adjust for anticipated costs for remediation or reclamation.
Our environmental standard is to reclaim disturbed land wherever possible while mining operations are under way, and well before closure; essentially, as soon as an area is no longer in use. The major activities surrounding closure are land reclamation and rehabilitation, the decommissioning of buildings and mine facilities, and ongoing care and maintenance.
Although the ultimate reclamation and rehabilitation costs of mine closure cannot be predicted with certainty, Endeavour’s total mine closure obligations for our existing operations are estimated to be $7.9 million ($7.7 million in 2015): $2.2M for Guanaceví, $1.8M for Bolañitos and $4.1M for El Cubo.
Sebastián Chandia: Environmental Protection Assistant, El Cubo
“What I love about my job is that I know we are doing something good for society and for generations to come. The field of ecology is very wide and there is plenty of room for innovation, especially in the mining industry.”
Sebastian is an engineer in Environmental Technologies and has worked with Endeavour Silver for a year. His responsibilities include environmental compliance, pollution control, monitoring of natural resources, adaptation and implementation of new technologies, engineering projects, and biodiversity conservation.
One of Sebastián’s main initiatives in 2016 was to increase recycling efforts at the mine. The pilot program (in one location at the mine) involved a comprehensive material control system for the generation of waste and the classification of materials based on industrial ecology. The first step was to recognize the various generation points and measure the amount of waste generated at each point. This process created a sense of awareness and responsibility in each department. Currently, evaluations are conducted once per week to review whether material was properly classified, enabling a far better understanding of where waste is generated and where continual improvements can be made.
The intention is to expand the program to the rest of the mine and to start working more closely with the community as well with respect to their own waste generation. The materials that are currently being recycled or reused are iron, manganese, copper, bronze, aluminum, plastic, cardboard, paper, wood, toner cartridges, and old electronics.