Raglan Mine Integrates Traditional Knowledge to Address Environmental Concerns

posted: 09/06/2020

It is never too soon to plan for mine closure, which in Canada takes place before a mine goes into production. Glencore’s Raglan Mine has been operating for more than 20 years and plans to continue for at least another 20 more, but already the company has taken steps to ensure effective closure plans, involving significant feedback from the local Inuit community, are in place.

Through effective collaboration with its local communities of interest, Raglan Mine is leading the way in effective long-term environmental stewardship through engagement with its five surrounding Inuit partners. The Raglan Steering Committee (RSC) was developed in 2005 to develop a tailings, waste rock, and water management remediation concept tailored to Raglan Mine that also takes into account the expected impacts of climate change. In 2018, the RSC formally evolved into the Closure Plan Sub-committee in order to better maintain a dialogue with the mine’s Inuit partners about mine closure and ensure traditional knowledge was well integrated into planning alongside scientific considerations regarding climate change.

Raglan Mine is located at the extreme limit of Northern Quebec.

Raglan Mine’s efforts go well beyond legal requirements in that the social impact of closure on the local population is not only being taken into account, but is actually providing the foundation for its success. With each stakeholder voice being heard, and with traditional knowledge playing a key role, the closure plans are well positioned to provide a positive framework that is accepted and understood by all affected parties. 

This program has not only resulted in creating a sense of pride and accomplishment through good community integrated mine closure practices, but its success has already initiated the idea of creating a university microprogram that would bring together the Inuit communities, industry players and top scientific minds.