Conclusion: Planning for closure, dealing with crisis

Cecily Neil, Markku Tykkyläinen and Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh

Mine closure crises are likely to remain a permanent risk for communities heavily dependent on the mining industry, and this risk of closure touches every mining community. It is bound up in the fluctuation of metal markets, but, on the other hand, the global shift and rapid internationalisation of mining are real. Together with an efficient technology, these trends make the changes rapid. Mining is, to an every-increasing degree, perceived to be composed of mining projects rather than traditional permanent mines with communities, but there are still communities left and such communities will probably continue to be built from time to time. Governments often face enormous political pressure to respond to closure or threatened closure of mines in remote single industry towns, and it is important that they have a general framework which can help guide policy decisions in relation to individual projects - that is, whether the township should be dismanteled or whether the community should be maintained through subsidies, allowed to decline, or helped to diversify - either at the level of major economic restructuring or through simply encouraging local economic initiatives. The fact that crises do occur, means that the state must be in a constant state of preparedness to cope with mine closures and downsizing. The fostering of local corporate activity is one way of combining state support without loss of local initiative in planning and managing local economic development. For effective state assistance certain general circumstances independent of any particular projects are necessary.

Neil, C., Tykkyläinen, M. & O'Faircheallaigh, C. (1992). Conclusion: Planning for closure, dealing with crisis. In C. Neil, M. Tykkyläinen & J. Bradbury (Eds.), Coping with closure: An international comparison of mine town experiences (pp. 369-403). London; New York: Routledge.

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Book chapter
Conclusion: Planning for closure, dealing with crisis