The economics and social aspects of mine closure at the coal mines of Kerman in Iran

G. Saeedi, M. Osanloo, K. Shahriar and E. Bakhtavar

The social impact of mine-closure has been well documented by behavioural scientists. The psychological impact of losing one's job can take the form of an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increased substance abuse, as well as family violence and breakup. Based on recorded statistics in Kerman Coal Mines Company, it is shown that for every 1% rise in unemployment, Kerman community will experience similar increases in the rates of suicides (4.5%), homicides (6.1%), stress-related illnesses (3%), admissions to mental institutions (5.2%) and drug addiction (11%). Studies have done by Kerman Coal Mines Company in South Pabdana and Babnizoo mines shows that a number of 3500 mine workers lost their jobs because of decommissioning process. Communities too experience profound impact as a result of mine closure. Loss of community cohesion as a result of increased tension between employed and unemployed mine workers is one of the inevitable downsizing prior to closure that it happened for a short course of time in Kerman because of the decommissioning of these two mines. This tension is in addition to the traditional animosity that often occurs between marginalized locals and the relatively wealthy mine workers. In isolated regions these socioeconomic tensions are only likely to become magnified. It is important, therefore, that decision-makers initiate policies aimed at creating sufficient support infrastructure both during the operation of a mine and upon closure. Potential impacts of mine closure on a community will vary considerably depending on the number of jobs lost relative to the size of the affected community, its social composition and its level of internal cohesiveness.

Saeedi, G., Osanloo, M., Shahriar, K. & Bakhtavar, E. (2006). The economics and social aspects of mine closure at the coal mines of Kerman in Iran. In Proceedings of the First International Conference on Mine Closure. Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth (pp. 881-817).

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Conference paper
The economics and social aspects of mine closure at the coal mines of Kerman in Iran