This paper demonstrates an applied approach to assessing the socio-economic impacts of mine closure using the application of Town Resource Cluster (TRC) analysis; a methodology developed in Australia for application within a natural resource management and development planning context. The methodology provides opportunity to examine the linkages between a resource operation and social systems, and affords quantification of economic and social contribution at local, regional and state levels to guide operational planning and decision-making at various phases of an operation’s lifecycle. In the context of mine closure planning, TRC analysis delineates the social and economic associations between a mine and its local and regional communities based on a number of factors, including: employee (and family) place of residence; use of services; annual household expenditure; employee involvement; and participation in local community life. Data relating to supplier linkages can also be demonstrated and quantified. This paper illustrates that by using TRC analysis, an operational site can obtain an understanding of both the positive contribution that its operation is presently making, as well as identifying and quantifying the potential impacts on local towns and communities as the mine closure process commences. Such a process ensures no surprises and affords the effective management of change at local and regional levels. The technique is presented further through discussion of a number of case studies where it has been practically applied.
Coakes, S. & Lamb, K. (2016). Town resource cluster analysis — understanding and quantifying your operation’s social and economic linkages at local, regional and state levels. In A. B. Fourie & M. Tibbett (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth (pp. 199-212).