Although mining activities may occur over an extended period of time, in the long term ours is a temporary land use. Therefore, it is a priority for Centerra to plan for the closure of all of its operations through a fully integrated, dynamic and iterative process that takes into account social and economic considerations at an early stage of mine development; this includes ensuring that appropriate financial assurances are in place to sufficiently cover closure and rehabilitation.
All sites record appropriate (IFRS-compliant) asset retirement obligations (AROs) that are reviewed regularly and audited annually with our financial statements. These are estimates based on the risk-adjusted costs required to settle present obligations. Our AROs are approved by Centerra’s executive team.
Centerra strives to reclaim portions of its mine sites that are no longer required for current mining operations.
At Mount Milligan, we progressively reclaim land as it becomes available. The end land use objective is to restore the area to land that is capable of supporting wildlife, recreation, and traditional uses by First Nations.
Our aim is to reclaim the disturbed land so that features are chemically and physically stable and can be utilized accordingly. The success of the “living lab” approach demonstrates that knowledge sharing within the Company, and the mining industry in general, is helping to inform best management practices and avoid costly programs that hamper ecological restoration.
Mount Milligan has won two awards for their reclamation efforts.
In 2015, Mount Milligan won British Columbia’s Jake McDonald Reclamation Award for the creation of the Rainbow Fish Compensation Ponds. In 2021, the British Columbia Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation, an organization of representatives from the provincial and federal governments, academia and industry, presented its 44th Annual Reclamation Award to Centerra and Chu Cho Environmental for ongoing research into innovative techniques at the Mount Milligan, Kemess and Endako mines.
In 2021, in collaboration with external consultants, academic institutions and local Indigenous groups, Mount Milligan began developing a strategy for implementing a greenhouse at the mine site. The established plant nursery will house native vegetation along with plant species that are of cultural significance to the surrounding Indigenous groups. These plants will be used during progressive reclamation throughout the remaining mine life as well as closure reclamation.
Similar to Mount Milligan, Öksüt will aim to progressively reclaim land when possible. Topsoil removed for operations has been stored in designated stockpiles. Areas cleared during construction will be progressively restored with the goal of establishing a stable vegetative cover to minimize erosion, dust and spreading of invasive species.
While our Endako Mine in British Columbia is on care and maintenance, some reclamation is ongoing. Tailings beaches are revegetated as they become available, and consequently most of the tailings area will be reclaimed before the mine closes.
In adherence with good practice, conceptual closure plans are updated at least every five years, depending on the project’s stage in the mining lifecycle. Closure plan reviews and updates not only involve technical experts but also consider the needs of local communities, Indigenous groups, government, and employees.
Through active engagement, we strive to identify and understand the concerns, aspirations, values and expectations of local communities and Indigenous groups regarding mine closure and social transition.
Community engagement provides the framework for developing a reclamation program that not only meets the approved end land use objectives, but also creates education, training, and business opportunities throughout the process. At Mount Milligan, the collaborative effort between local nurseries, plant ecologists, Mount Milligan environmental staff and local First Nations is the foundation for returning the mine to a state capable of supporting wildlife and traditional First Nations activities.
At Mount Milligan, to re-establish pre-mining capability and productivity conditions to the following end land use objectives: wildlife and recreation and re-establishment of opportunities for traditional use of the land by First Nations.