Discounting social mine closure planning

M. January and H. Lee

The mine closure planning process has predominantly focused on the technical and environmental aspects, but there is a growing recognition of the importance of social closure considerations. The current South African legislation too has a strong bias towards environmental and technical closure planning. South African mine closure planning has recently come under the spotlight, partly spurred on by volatile commodity prices, forcing many mines to close or to go on care and maintenance without clear closure plans in place. The resultant impact on local mining communities has been devastating. This research paper examines the social aspects of mine closure planning of South Deep, a gold mine situated west of Johannesburg in South Africa. South Deep, with its 75-year life-of-mine, faces increased social risks and liabilities because of its proximity to impoverished host communities and other ageing mines. The paper analyses the mine’s social closure plans in relation to the South African legislative requirements and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) guidelines.

January, M. & Lee, H. (2019). Discounting social mine closure planning. In A. B. Fourie & M. Tibbett (Eds.), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth (pp. 317-332).

Conference paper
South Africa
Discounting social mine closure planning