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Mine closure and reclamation management

ISO standard development

By Corinne Unger MAusIMM CP(Env), representing AusIMM on the Australian Mirror Committee under Standards Australia.

To recap, my first article was around the inception of the Australian Mirror Committee for SC7 (Sub-Committee 7) (July 2017). The second article provided a progress update on the working groups (March 2018). This update addresses the Strategic Plan for SC7 and the International Committee meetings for the SC7 as part of TC82 (Technical Commitee 82 ‘Mining’) meetings held in Shanghai 15-18 October 2018.

Chairperson of ISO/TC82/SC7 Christopher Didier (France) noted the significant contribution by Australia to the standard development process over the last year. In particular our contributions have been through.

a. SC7 Strategic Planning task force
b. WG1 ‘terminology’ working group, and
c. WG2 ‘planning’ working group.

The Shanghai meetings for SC7 and WG1 and WG2 as well as TC82 were represented by four Australian committee members – Corinne Unger, Darren Murphy, Stuart Rhodes and Carl Grant as the Australian Mirror Committee Chair. One whole day was dedicated to review the WG2 ‘planning’ standard, where the group was led through the key discussion points by a Canadian representative of the writing team.

Half a day was assigned to WG1 where selection criteria were developed to help reach agreement on which terms should be included or excluded from the list of terminology. During this meeting, Darren Murphy was appointed the new International Project Leader for WG1.

The SC7 meeting included discussion of the draft Strategic Plan during which an extension of time for reviews was granted. The draft Strategic Plan is a short document that provides an orientation point for new committee members as to the scope and purpose of the family standards.

The mission of ISO/TS82/SC7 is:

To develop standards, guidelines and complementary documents, which when applied, will prevent and mitigate long-term mining impacts and create environmental and socio-economic value through the mine closure and reclamation management process.

The Strategic Plan outlines a path for future standards to be developed as part of a pipeline of standards under SC7 ‘Mine Closure and Reclamation Management’.

During the SC7 meeting, three new work items were not supported due to a lack of progress. A new task force was formed to develop a business case for an ‘abandoned mines’ standard by the middle of next year. Corinne Unger was appointed to coordinate this task force with volunteers from Malawi, Tanzania, Canada, France and South Korea.

Stages of development of ISO standards

Even though considerable work has been done, both the Mine Closure and Reclamation Management ‘terminology’ (WG1) and ‘planning’ (WG2) standards are at an early stage on a pre-defined ISO timeline. While they are currently at the working draft (WD) stage, both are likely to progress to CD (Committee Draft) stage before the end of 2018 for review by full national committees. See figure below.

Source: https://www.iso.org/developing-standards.html

Typically, standards take 3 years, unless accelerated (2 years) or enlarged (4 years). There are specific responses if milestones are not met. This is a work in progress.

Organisations represented on the Australian Mirror committee:

  • Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
  • Chamber of Minerals and Energy (WA)
  • Department of Environment and Science (QLD)
  • Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (WA)
  • Department of Planning and Environment (NSW)
  • Engineers Australia
  • Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand
  • Environmental Consultants Association (WA)
  • Minerals Council of Australia
  • NSW Minerals Council
  • Queensland Resources Council
  • South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy
  • Sustainable Minerals Institute (University of QLD)
  • The University of Newcastle
  • Uranium Mining and Remediation Exchange Group Inc

Further updates will be provided. Any members seeking further information on the Australian Mirror Committee should contact Carl Grant (Chair) at carl.grant@angloamerican.com

Any questions on this article can be posed to Corinne Unger at kasung@bigpond.com

Group photo ISO TC82 including TC 82/SC 7 Australian members: Corinne Unger, Stuart Rhodes, Darren Murphy and Carl Grant]

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