Three-quarters of mines close suddenly. Despite the work to improve planning for mine closure, it is planning for unexpected closure that is particularly important. This paper reviews three case studies: Singkep Island, Indonesia (tin mining 1812- 1992), Blyvooruitzicht, South Africa (gold mining 1942 - 2013), and Sussex, Canada (potash mining 1983–2016) to analyse the impacts of mining before and after sudden mine closure. The first two studies represent unsustainable development in which the benefits of mining were lost soon after closure. The third case study concerns a mining region that maintained sustainable development despite the sudden mine closure. This study suggests that the following encourage sustainable development: ensuring early shared-use of mining infrastructure, using mining facilities to improve local workforce skills, ongoing community engagement, and implementation of progressive closure and preparation of a contingency plan. These mitigation strategies generate resilient communities in mining regions. They require regional governments and communities taking more significant initiatives. This research demonstrates that responsible mining schemes tend to focus on just the mining companies and particularly on environmental aspects of closure. This is a good start, but there is a need for collaboration and cooperation between companies and (regional) governments to deliver the best outcomes.
Syahrir, R., Wall, F., & Diallo, P. (2021). Coping with sudden mine closure: The importance of resilient communities and good governance. The Extractive Industries and Society, 8(4), 101009. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2021.101009