In accordance with best practices, Agnico Eagle integrates closure considerations early in our operations, planning and engineering processes. We are committed to rehabilitating our sites to ensure long-term physical and chemical stability, in consultation with nearby communities and in a timely manner. Learn more about our approach to closure and rehabilitation in our Sustainability Reports and our Sustainability Stories and Videos.
Every advanced exploration and mining project must provide a detailed closure plan which is filed with Ontario’s Ministry of Energy and Northern Development and Mines (ENDM).
These plans must detail how Agnico Eagle’s activities during both the Advanced Exploration and Production phases at Upper Beaver will comply with provincial standards protecting the public and the environment. Additionally, we must provide a financial guarantee to the government before the start of any construction activities. Provincial mining inspectors ensure compliance with the closure plan through ongoing audits and site inspections throughout the life of the project.
Agnico Eagle has already submitted a Closure Plan and a Financial Assurance to ENDM for the Advanced Exploration Phase, which are currently under review. A new Closure Plan will also be submitted for the Production Phase of the Upper Beaver project, which will include all additional components that will come with this phase.
Advanced Exploration Phase Closure and Rehabilitation
A Closure Plan was filed with ENDM in 2012 by a previous owner. Following Agnico Eagle’s acquisition of the Upper Beaver project, we made changes to the project description and scenario, submitting a Notice of Material Change in July 2018. We also recently submitted a Closure Plan Amendment to the Advanced Exploration Closure Plan (2012) that includes new infrastructure such as: shaft, vent raise, portal, rock storage facility, buildings and water management facilities. The Closure Plan Amendment includes an updated progressive rehabilitation plan and an updated closure cost estimate for historic features and new infrastructure.
Mine hazards will be rehabilitated in accordance with the Mine Rehabilitation Code.
Production (Mining) Closure and Rehabilitation
There is still work and studies to be done to confirm what the final closure conditions will be for Upper Beaver, but the land restoration will meet the standards of the Rehabilitation Code of Ontario.
At closure, our preliminary plans (subject to change and/or approval) include reclaiming all the remaining historical legacies on site. We will also secure all openings to surface, remove or dismantle all buildings, infrastructure and equipment, remove all chemicals and hazardous material and revegetate the disturbed area. For the closure of the pit, engineering work will be required to confirm the best closure option, but Agnico Eagle’s intent is to let the water go back into the pit, remove the dams, and bring back the flow in the natural pathway of the Misema River system.
All general site access and haul roads, which will not be required for the long term will be scarified (broken up), and revegetated when no longer needed to support final reclamation, long-term site management and environmental monitoring. The road established for access to the boat launch will be left in place for continued use.
We will provide our preliminary plan to reclaim the site for comment during the Impact Assessment process. In addition, a detailed regulatory Closure Plan will be required before any construction starts for the mine.
As the footprint of the Upper Beaver project site is small, it is expected that the active phase of reclamation of the project will be completed in less than one year after operations cease. Environmental monitoring – physical stability, surface water and groundwater and biological monitoring – will continue after reclamation is completed.