Placing wire mesh at the Fourques and Serre-Mijane iron mining concession (Aude, S. France, 2006). © BRGM

Decommissioned mines and risk prevention

BRGM, on behalf of the State, manages surveillance and risk prevention activities to ensure the safety of decommissioned mining sites.

With pit closures and the gradual disappearance of mining operators, a new “post-mining” era began in France.

Post-mine safety and risk prevention are guaranteed by the public authorities

By virtue of various legal provisions, the State takes responsibility for damages caused by mine operations when the operator is no longer in a position to do so. The State is responsible for the necessary safety and risk prevention facilities and equipment.

BRGM, the State-delegated post-mining operator

Since 2006, BRGM has managed surveillance and risk prevention activities to ensure the safety of decommissioned mining sites on behalf of the State.

Its responsibilities include:

  • mine safety engineering work, as the delegate project owner.
  • surveillance of former mining sites and running of safety and risk prevention facilities, in compliance with the Mining or Environment Code.

The goal is to ensure the safety of people and property in former mining areas.

Building on and furthering knowledge on former mining sites

Understanding the phenomena at work and mapping, characterising and monitoring former mining sites all rely on conserving, enriching and updating existing technical documentation.

BRGM manages the post-mining information system, particularly the collections of intermediate technical mining archives, and contributes to mining intelligence.

Preserving mining know-how

Preserving know-how on mining through knowledge transmission is another crucial post-mining issue.

Research and expert studies: GISOS and GEODERIS

For research, expert studies and investigations of phenomena arising from extractive activities, BRGM works through the GISOS and GEODERIS groups, of which it is a founder member.

More information about GISOS and GEOODERIS

The BRGM Mine Safety and Risk Prevention Department

BRGM’s post-mining activities are conducted by a specific department comprising a national Head Office, a Programming and Methods Unit (UPM) based in Orléans and four Regional Post-Mining Units (UTAM), based in Billy-Montigny (Pas-de-Calais département), Freyming-Merlebach (Moselle), Orléans (Loiret) and Gardanne (Bouches-du-Rhône).

More information on the BRGM Mine Safety  and Risk Prevention Department

BRGM - 3 avenue Claude-Guillemin - BP 36009 45060 Orléans Cedex 2 - France Tel.: +33 (0)2 38 64 34 34