Community participation in mine closure planning processes

Sarah Holcombe, Julia Keenan and Sarah Mackenzie

This report presents the results of a study on community participation in mine closure planning processes. This research has been conducted under the auspices of the CSRM Social Aspects of Mine Closure Research Consortium.

The aim of this study is to identify, categorise and describe the ‘mechanics’ of actual community participation in the mine closure planning process across a selection of case examples, including: how these processes are scoped, who is involved, what resources are allocated, timeframes and triggers, and the structures and arrangements that are set in place.

Three case study sites were chosen based on feasibility (access to data), jurisdiction (seeking diversity of sites), and recent status (examples from last 5 years):

  • Globe Mine, Reefton, New Zealand
  • Diavik Mine, Canada
  • Leigh Creek Coal Mine, Australia

This study was driven by the need to document the specific scope, drivers, requirements, and structures – or the mechanics – of the planning and participation process. In the absence of detailed and specific regulatory guidance on the social aspects of closure, communities and companies are constrained in the examples they are able to draw upon to inform these participatory processes, and the structure and content of the Mine Closure Plans that are the focus of their engagement.

Holcombe, S., Keenan, J., S. Mackenzie. 2021. Community Participation in Mine Closure Planning Processes. St Lucia: Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, University of Queensland.

Project report
Community participation in mine closure planning processes