Mine lifecycle planning and enduring value for remote communities

Stuart Robertson and Boyd Blackwell

Mine lifecycle planning is critical to developing enduring value from mining for remote communities. The history of mining is replete with examples of communities being unsustainable post mine closure. The concept of enduring value involves ensuring that a sustainable community will remain following the closure of an associated mine. Since 2003, awareness has increased among international and Australian peak mining bodies for the need to plan for enduring community value. This increased awareness has developed alongside requirements that mining companies operate in a socially responsible manner by maintaining their social licence to operate. This paper thematically reviews the literature relevant to mine lifecycle planning, enduring value, socio-economic impacts of mining, and mine closure. Conditions required for a community to gain enduring value from mining include: ‘normalisation’ rather than being a ‘closed’ town; existence of government support and funding; and realised economic diversification opportunities. It is imperative that these conditions are given due consideration: 1) in the initial stages of mine and town planning, and 2) throughout the life of the mine through ongoing monitoring and community engagement. However, we acknowledge the shortcomings in assuming planning is a panacea and suggest areas for further testing.

Robertson, S. & Blackwell, B. Mine lifecycle planning and enduring value for remote communities. International Journal of Rural Law and Policy (special edition 1).

Journal article
Mine lifecycle planning and enduring value for remote communities