In the past, mine developments did not require remediation and closure plans. Mine sites were shut-down unexpectedly and left abandoned, resulting in everlasting impacts on the environment and to the communities that were involved. As a result, mine closure plans are now required from the very onset of mine development. However, in order for a mine closure plan to be successful, community engagement is critical but is often lacking; this poses an even greater challenge when working with Indigenous communities whose values and beliefs vary from those of technical experts that aim to improve the mine site after it has been closed. The Inuit communities of Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq are located in proximity to the Glencore Raglan Mine. The Raglan Mine is working to develop a closure plan that encompasses local and Inuit concerns regarding the future closure of the mine. An in-depth literature review was conducted and semi-structured interviews were undertaken with Inuit to understand their concerns regarding the closure of the Raglan Mine, and also their vision for a post-mining economy. Results revealed that the Inuit of Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq have strong and clear views for various aspects of mine closure, including infrastructure and the environment. These communities welcome future engagement from Raglan Mine to develop a closure plan that satisfies all parties. The results of this research emphasize the need for mining companies to collaborate with all impacted parties in order to achieve successful closure at current and future natural resource developments.
Potvin, V. (2021). Understanding and addressing the social impacts of closure at the Raglan Mine, Nunavik, Quebec. Doctoral dissertation, Memorial University of Newfoundland.