Closing and rehabilitation of the mine from Roşia Montană
Documents: Closing and rehabilitation plan - 2006
The costs related to the rehabilitation and closure of the mine from Roşia Montană will be fully incurred by Roşia Montană Gold Corporation (RMGC).
At the beginning of each year of mining operation, RMGC will deposit the entire amount estimated for environmental rehabilitation and long-term monitoring in a specially established account – Financial Guarantee for Environmental Rehabilitation (FGER). Before the mining operations begin, environmental rehabilitation is guaranteed.
This account can only be accessed by the competent governmental authorities and with the purpose of environmental rehabilitation.
The current closure costs of Roşia Montană project are estimated at $146 million USD, based on a mine operation period of 16 years. Annual updates will be established by independent experts in collaboration with the National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM), as the relevant governmental authority in the sector of mining activities.
Updates ensure that the FGER always reflects the costs related to the environmental rehabilitation, in the very unlikely case of premature closure of the project, at any moment.
Annual updates take into account the following four variable elements:
- Changes brought to the project which affect environmental restoration objectives;
- Changes in the Romanian legislative framework, including enforcement of EU directives;
- New technologies which improve environmental rehabilitation methods and practices;
- Changes in the price of certain products and services which are essential for environmental rehabilitation.
The closure and environmental rehabilitation work at Roşia Montană includes the following activities:
- Covering the stockpiles with a vegetal layer;
- Back-filling of the open pits, with the exception of Cetate which is to be flooded and transformed into a lake;
- Jig pit will be fully filled and will look like a slope with small terraces after the rehabilitation.
- Orlea and Cârnic pits will be partially backfilled and will look like terraces cut in the slopes of Roşia valley.
- Cetate pit will be flooded and transformed into 2 lakes.
- Covering of the tailings management facility and of the surfaces of dams with a vegetal layer;
- Dismantling the disused installations and environmental rehabilitation of the decommissioned areas;
- Water treatment through semi-passive systems (with classical treatment systems as backup systems) until the level of indicators of all effluents is within the allowable limits and no longer requires the continuation of the treatment process;
- Maintenance of vegetation, combating of erosion and monitoring of the entire site until RMGC proves that all the rehabilitation objectives have been achieved in a sustainable manner.
RMGC will not wait until the completion of the mining operations to start the environmental rehabilitation of Roşia Montană.
The rehabilitation program is progressive, and will be developed as follows:
- Year 5: Reclamation of Cetate stockpile;
- Year 10: Reclamation of Cârnic stockpile;
- Year 13: Backfilling of the open pits;
- Year 15: Covering of the tailings dam, flooding of Cetate pit
- Year 18: Covering of the tailings management facility, reclamation of the plant site;
- Post-closure monitoring is estimated to last between 30-50 years to ensure that the environmental rehabilitation measures have been efficient and there is no risk of pollution.
- Covering of rocks without a potential to generate acid waters (waste rock, filled pits, tailings dam and inert areas) with a 20 cm subsoil layer + 10 cm of vegetal soil + vegetation.
- Covering of rocks with a potential to generate acid waters (tailings management facility, portions of the stockpile or filled open pits) with a layer of 30/40 cm of compacted soil + 80/140 cm non-compacted subsoil + 10 cm vegetal soil + vegetation.