Reclamation and Closure
At Kinross, we recognize our responsibility to manage the environmental impacts associated with our operations at all stages of a mine’s life cycle. We require all of our sites to develop and maintain reclamation and closure plans that demonstrate industry-wide leadership.
Working with our stakeholders, reclamation planning entails an extensive analysis of land use options, environmental factors and community development concerns and objectives. Closure planning is an integral consideration during initial mine planning and is regularly updated as new information becomes available or mining operations are optimized. For example, a preliminary rehabilitation and closure plan for our Tasiast operation has been produced and approved by Mauritanian authorities. As required by the country’s legislation, a final plan will be prepared two years before the cessation of mining. Our goal at all our sites is to minimize our environmental footprint, which includes both limiting the area disturbed by our activities as well as conducting contemporaneous reclamation of lands when they are no longer required.
At the end of 2011, we had five reclamation sites – DeLamar, Hayden Hill, Mineral Hill, Sunnyside and Champagne – all located in the United States. At each, we continued to make progress toward final closure. For example, at DeLamar in south western Idaho, we continue to dewater the tailing impoundment and complete installation of an engineered cover.
Our closed Mineral Hill mine in the state of Montana was awarded the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award in 2011 for its exceptional performance and recognized as a model of land reclamation excellence. We profile the initiatives that prompted this recognition in our Case Study 11: Applying Best Practices in Reclamation and Closure at Mineral Hill.
In 2011, we achieved a full regulatory release from our Wind Mountain site in Nevada. Through our reclamation processes, we achieved physical and chemical stabilization as well as successful re-vegetation of the 200-hectare site.
(thousands of hectares)