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Mine closure and reclamation management: ISO standard development (update five)

This update covers recent international meetings for the Mine Closure and Reclamation Management (SC7) sub-committee 

Recent international meeting in Saint-Denis, Paris

Yes, it is hard to believe there was an international meeting recently but, from 12-13 March 2020, the Mine Closure and Reclamation Management (SC7) sub-committee met in Saint-Denis, Paris in the offices of AFNOR (French standards organisation). Both Working Groups (WG), WG 1 (vocabulary) and WG 3 (Abandoned Mine Management) met face-to-face as well as via remote means for those participants who could not travel (from Chile, USA, Germany, Switzerland and Canada).

On 11 March, AFNOR hosted a meeting of representatives from French-speaking nations involved in writing standards. As a consequence, there was good representation at our meetings from the eastern states of Canada, France as well as Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali and Morocco.

Day 1, 12 March, was the full day meeting of WG 1, chaired by Global Project Lead, Darren Murphy (WA). WG 3 commenced in the second half of Day 1, concluding at lunch time on 13 March. Corinne Unger is the Global Project Lead and chair of WG 3. This meeting was followed by the plenary of SC7 where key issues were raised and agreed so that commitments could be formalised and recorded.

The ‘Vocabulary’ draft standard is close to Final Draft International Standard stage, whereas the ‘Abandoned Mine Management’ WG 3 is preparing its first Working Draft by mid-year, having commenced in late 2019.

To provide a reminder of the stages of developing an ISO standard, once a New Work Item Proposal for a standard is accepted, it progresses through the following stages:

  • Preparatory Stage – Working draft (WD)
  • Committee Stage – Committee draft (CD)
  • Enquiry Stage – Draft International Standard (DIS)
  • Approval Stage – Final Draft International Standard (FDIS)
  • Publication Stage – ISO standard

An international meeting for WG 2 did not take place in March but will take place in November 2020

WG 2 is the working group developing the standard on ‘Mine Closure and Reclamation Management Planning’. Like WG 1, WG 2 is approaching its Final Draft International Standard. But unlike WG 1, WG 2 is aiming for FDIS in the second half of 2020.

Since the last update, the large document that had become the draft standard for ‘planning’ has been cut into two parts. Part 1 is now a short standard addressing the key requirements, while Part 2 provides more guidance to support Part 1. The International Project Lead for WG 2 is Dirk van Zyl, Canada. Harley Lacy met with the Canadians in August 2019 to restructure the first part of the CD standard and to discuss the possibility of splitting of the document into two parts, which ultimately the drafting committee accepted.

These separated parts were then reviewed by the Australian Mirror Committee. Part 1 was reviewed by Corinne Unger, Tania Laurencont and Kylie Ashenbrenner with additional comments, from a regulatory perspective, provided by Matthew Newton, NSW. Our comments were then returned to the Canadian writing team. In February and March Part 2 was reviewed by Belinda Bird, Catherine Davis, Carl Grant, Darren Murphy (with a focus on consistency of vocabulary with WG 1) as well as Peter Waggitt, who pulled the review comments together before we forwarded them to the Canadians. It is our impression that Part 1 is much closer to being final than Part 2; however, we expect the next version of both parts (DIS) to be circulated to all WG 2 members before the end of April. By mid-October the next version will be ready for the November meeting.

You can find past updates prepared for AusIMM members by Corinne here:

  1. Inception of the Australian Mirror Committee for SC7 (July 2017).
  2. Progress through the working groups (WG) (March 2018).
  3. Strategic Plan for SC7 and the International Committee held in Shanghai in October 2018 (November 2018).
  4. Mine closure and reclamation management: ISO standard development (October 2019).

Next international meeting in November 2020

The next meeting of TC82 Mining, that includes SC7 Mine Closure and Reclamation Management, will be hosted by Standards Australia in Sydney in November. We shall need to wait and see if this is face-to-face or a virtual meeting.

Updates will continue to be provided as progress is made. Any questions on this article from AusIMM members please contact Corinne Unger kasung@bigpond.com.

Any members seeking further information on the Australian Mirror Committee should contact Carl Grant (Chair) carl.grant@angloamerican.com.

Note: this meeting took place before social distancing and before there were limitations on international travel for Australians. There were few restrictions on travel within Paris but large sporting events were cancelled (France v Ireland rugby). The Covid-19 pandemic was declared on Day 1 of our meetings, 12 March. Precautions were taken during the meetings and when travelling. We returned to 14 days of isolation and are all well.

Photo gallery

Quiet streets of Saint-Denis, Paris during the international ISO meeting.

Australian delegation on train: Corinne Unger, Darren Murphy and Peter Waggitt.

13 March 2020 – SC7 participants at AFNOR, Saint-Denis. Christophe Didier, Chair of SC7 is fourth from the right at the back.

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