The inevitable closure and remediation phase of a mine’s lifecycle routinely causes negative socio-economic and environmental impacts for nearby communities. For mines operating on Indigenous territories, where communities have complex and nuanced connections to land and varying levels of jurisdiction, these issues are further exacerbated by the exclusion of Indigenous voices from planning and decision-making. Using qualitative document analysis and semi-structured interviews, this research sought to understand company approaches to socio-economic closure planning and community engagement across the North, and then examined Nunavik, Québec, as a case study to explore mine closure governance. The results show that mine companies across the North are inadequately addressing the socio-economic aspects of closure and inconsistently involving communities in the closure planning process. In Nunavik, government policies do little to regulate these aspects of mine closure, which has allowed for considerable variation in closure planning strategies between the companies operating in the region. These shortcomings in closure policies and industry practices mean governments and companies risk reproducing past closure and remediation failures.
Monosky, M. (2021). Social and community engaged mine closure: an exploration of mine closure governance and industry practices in northern Canada. Doctoral dissertation, Memorial University of Newfoundland.