Estimating socio-economic impacts of mine closure

Deanna Kemp, Phil Clark and Tian Zhang

This paper is primarily concerned with methods for estimating socio-economic impacts of mine closure. It briefly considers some of the key aspects and challenges associated with the socio-economic impacts of mine closure and explores the potential for impact assessment to inform closure planning by directing attention to priority areas. The paper illustrates the process followed in two recent socio-economic impact assessments for mine closure undertaken by the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) at the University of Queensland. The framework encourages stakeholder consultation and feedback so that closure studies provide value as a process, rather than only an outcome. Appendix 1 details the assumptions and calculations we used to estimate impacts and provides ‘worked examples’ from two of the studies. The two studies were undertaken at operations in north Queensland, Australia with different parent companies across different commodity groups. One was open cut and the other an underground operation, although originally open cut. Operations had different workforce arrangements including: a resident local workforce and a combination of long distance commute (LDC) and residential. The two operations also had different timeframes for closure. One was a year from full closure with a single closure scenario and the other was three years from pit closure with multiple closure scenarios.

Kemp, D., Clark, P. & Zhang, T. (2007). Estimating socio-economic impacts of mine closure (research paper No. 8). CSRM: Brisbane, Australia.

Estimating socio-economic impacts of mine closure