The Social Aspects of Mine Closure Research Consortium 2020 projects are well under way.

Three research priorities were identified by the consortium partners at the February meeting:

  • Regional planning for mine closure
  • Closure planning lessons from industry
  • Indigenous peoples and mine closure.

Given COVID-19, CSRM designed a 2020 program of work that could be executed remotely.

Indigenous Rangers in Alice Springs learning cyber tracking with Arrernte elder Veronica Dobson (Central Land Council photo).
Indigenous Rangers in Alice Springs learning cyber tracking with Arrernte elder Veronica Dobson
(Central Land Council photo).

Regional planning for closure – cumulative impacts

Regions in transition: A global scan

Mining is often concentrated in regions. There are cases of mining-dependent regions that, decades after mining is completed, continue to lag socially and economically. There is no simple or agreed way to define a mining region, to ascertain its adaptive capacity in the face of closure, nor to measure the success of a transition through closure. This project will identify global mining regions, identify and characterise mining regions in transition (MRIT), and analyse the capacity of MRITs to transition through closure.

Closure planning processes – lessons learned

Innovations from practitioners: Lessons learned from specialist and site-based practitioners

Innovative and strategic practices exist at individual mine sites, but are rarely documented. This means that lessons learned are hidden from public view. In this project, researchers will interview site-based closure practitioners to synthesise insights from sites across the globe.

Woodlawn case study: Interactive timeline of repurposing project

The Woodlawn copper mine (NSW) was repurposed into a bio-reactor and eco-precinct over a 10-year timeframe. It is now considered a leading example of mine repurposing and circular economy. Researchers will develop an interactive timeline to visually represent the repurposing processes.

Mine closure planning and community participation: Structures and mechanics

This project will identify, categorise and describe the governance architecture of community participation in mine closure planning across a selection of case examples. The study will document: how these processes are scoped, who is involved, what resources are allocated, timeframes and triggers, and the structures and arrangements that are set in place. The focus is on actual situations, not ideal scenarios or the generic guidance.

Indigenous peoples and mine closure

Indigenous rangers (Indigenous groups, land rehabilitation and mine closure): Phase II

Extending the 2019 scoping study, this project aims to maintain conversations, interest and relationships with existing networks, ahead of anticipated mobilisation in 2021.

Researchers will develop a package of communication materials to share Phase I findings with the research participants and other stakeholders. The materials will be visually engaging, targeted to specific non-academic audiences, and delivered in formats appropriate for remote access. Through this engagement, researchers will obtain feedback on the 2019 findings and seek to identify and recruit participants for Phase III.

Indigenous people’s forum scoping

This project was expected to convene indigenous leaders from around the world to share their knowledge and experiences about closure. In 2020, scoping and preparatory work will be undertaken to consider how indigenous perspectives can be captured in the current context.

We are conducting a range of projects under the auspices of the consortium. You can access our latest research outputs here.