From the outset, modern mines are planned for eventual closure and reclamation of the surrounding environment. Mine closure and reclamation are critical parts of the Sisson Project planning, and a mine closure and reclamation plan must be developed and approved before a mining lease is issued by the provincial government.
Following 27 years of operation, The Sisson Partnership will ensure the Sisson Project site is successfully reclaimed and closed. This means the former mine site will be capable of supporting beneficial land uses - such as wildlife habitat, forestry, or recreational uses - which will be based on direction from the provincial government and consultation with local communities and First Nations. Reclamation and closure at the Sisson Project will involve:
- removing buildings and equipment;
- re-contouring disturbed areas;
- replacing topsoil and re-vegetating disturbed areas with native plant species as appropriate;
- monitoring and managing water quality; and
- treating and monitoring water discharged from the project site for as long as required to ensure protection of downstream environments.
Reclamation will be ongoing during mine operations, where possible, but will be largely undertaken in the year following the end of operations. Ongoing site monitoring and maintenance will continue for as long as required. As part of its long term commitment to environmental management of the site, The Sisson Partnership will provide a bond to the Government of New Brunswick to ensure that there is sufficient funding to close the project in an environmentally responsible manner at any given time in the project's life. The closure plan, as well as the value of the bond, will need to be reviewed and approved by the provincial government before construction begins, and will be reviewed periodically over the life of the project.
Environmental monitoring and, if necessary, water treatment will be undertaken to ensure the integrity of local water resources. As the mine approaches closure, the final reclamation and land use goals for the Sisson Project site will be established in consultation with local communities, First Nations, and other Project stakeholders including the Government of New Brunswick.