The demand for transparency in the mining sector has increased since the 1980s. Our study focused on the public reporting of four South African mining corporations and their disclosures on mine closure. South Africa was identified based on its history of mine abandonment. We found that reporting on mainstream environmental and financial matters, companies disclose little about the social aspects of mine closure. External reporting norms have evolved, with a widening scope of reporting themes presented in strategically parsimonious language. Reporting themes speak to where companies, and transparency initiatives, receive greatest external interest and much of the content in company sustainability reports appear to service this demand. This pattern is manifestly challenging for the social aspects of mine closure, where reporting is minimal and reveals little about the timing of proposed changes to the mine lifecycle, the anticipated societal effects, and how the company will address these.
Crous, C., Owen, J. R., Marais, L., Khanyile, S., & Kemp, D. (2021). Public disclosure of mine closures by listed South African mining companies. Corporate Social-Responsibility and Environmental Management, 28(3), 1032–1042. https://doi.org/10.1002/csr.2103