Social provisioning for mine closure

T. Laurencont, T. Garrood, P. Vidler and M. Fawcett

Guidance on closure planning is still very much focused on the biophysical rather than the socio-economic aspects of closing a mine. Although on face value, the biophysical and social domains can be categorised in a similar way, their context can often be broader and would be better considered to be an episode in the ebb and flow of life in the surrounding communities (Bainton & Holcombe 2018). Social closure planning must deal with a high level of complexity, stemming from the fact that the social environment is generally in a state of continual flux over the life of a project, and is subject to development support interventions both from the government and the project. These support interventions should have regard to a target social closure outcome that has been discussed and agreed with landowner communities and other relevant stakeholders. Newcrest Mining Limited (Newcrest) became a member company of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) in November 2017. The ICMM is a mining industry organisation. Admission to the ICMM requires member companies to commit to ICMM’s Sustainability Framework (ICMM 2015), its position statements, and its assurance process (whereby a third-party audits a companies’ sustainability performance). At a company level, Newcrest has developed a number of environmental and social standards including a specific closure standard. Newcrest’s Mine Closure Management Guideline has been developed to assist sites in understanding how to apply these standards. This translates at a site-specific level to operational closure plans and costing estimates for the closure of operating sites. In this context, Newcrest set out to identify what represents good practice in terms of social closure, so that their standards and guidelines can reflect this, especially in relation to developing a consistent methodology for the calculation of social closure costs. This paper explores that journey, from understanding what is current industry good practice in relation to social closure aspects, how to develop socio-economic closure domains and the process of costing (social provisioning) once the closure domains have been decided is discussed.

Laurencont, T., Garrood, T., Vidler, P. & Fawcett, M. (2019). Social provisioning for mine closure. In A. B. Fourie & M. Tibbett (Eds.), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth. 

Conference paper
Social provisioning for mine closure