Post-Mining Risk Management in France


After intensively exploiting the mineral resources of its subsoil for several centuries, French mining sites have gradually closed. However, the end of mining activity did not put an end to the phenomena that often affect the land surrounding former mines. After the end of the exploitation, traditionally called “post-mining” phase, numerous disturbances can occur — sometimes as soon as mining work stops, but sometimes much later.
To manage hazards and risks associated with these undesirable events, the French State has several technical and regulatory tools. These tools make it possible to compile the available knowledge on residual mining risks related to former mining sites for a given territory, to delimit the affected areas and to define the conditions of construction, occupation and use of land as well as measures relating to the organization, use or exploitation of existing assets in a context of a sustainable land planning management. In France, residual mining risk is unique in that if there is no valid mining title, or if the operator or title holder disappears or fails to act, the French Mining Code renders the State liable for repairing the damages caused by former mining sites that it authorized in the past.
The purpose of this handbook is to help and facilitate the implementation of these tools. It is intended for all actors involved in mining risk management (e.g., government organizations, local authorities, consulting firms).